Ramstein hosted the eighth chief master sergeant of the Air Force for a base visit Jan. 25 to 29.
Sam E. Parish, retired chief master sergeant of the Air Force, spoke with more than 700 of the Air Force’s newest chiefs and future NCOs throughout his visit. He saw the mission of the 86th Airlift Wing, the 435th Air Ground Operations Wing and the 521st Air Mobility Operations Wing. He also visited with U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa Airmen.
“To be able to see the looks on the (faces of Airmen) when you are talking to them is just absolutely awesome,” Parish said. “Knowing (what challenges they face) and that I have lived it and to try to convey the message that it can be a great life is unbelievable. It’s a great honor to serve and to be able to meet with these young Airmen.”
The Airmen of the 86th AW demonstrated to Parish how they generate and employ air mobility, enabling theater and strategic airpower, by operating a key Air Force power projection platform on Ramstein. For one Airman who briefed Parish, the most rewarding part of the event was hearing the contrast of when Parish retired and today’s Air Force.
“It was an honor and privilege because we got to show him how the Air Force has advanced and how Airmen perform,” said Tech. Sgt. Greg Flores, 37th Airlift Squadron loadmaster. “It’s great to hear the differences of how he came up in the Air Force and how we are operating now.”
Many things have changed around Ramstein since Parish was the command chief at USAFE. Fighters used to fly from the ramps of the base, and nowadays cargo movers dominate the skyline.
“It’s great and unbelievable to be back in USAFE (and) to see the changes,” Parish said. “Nobody would believe what I saw when I first came to Ramstein, and now it’s as different as night and day.”
New wings, missions and faces but the same great Air Force, Parish said. But some things live on, such as paying respect to the Airmen reaching the highest enlisted rank, chief master sergeant.
Parish ended his visit by helping induct the newest chief master sergeants during their ceremony.