Ramstein NCO earns postal award

Airman 1st Class Edward Drescher
Kaiserslautern American

***image1***Tech. Sgt. Kirk Baldwin was recently named the Communications and Information Outstanding Postal NCO of the year for the Air Force.

Sergeant Baldwin, who’s been here four years, works as the manager of postal plans and policies under Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe.
According to Sergeant Baldwin, the planning part of his job has a lot to do with Air Expeditionary Force management.

“We have 370 postal personnel assigned here and we have to ensure that the right people are in the right place for (Operation Iraqi Freedom) so people can stay in contact with their families,” said Sergeant Baldwin.

He also plays a big role in making sure deploying postal workers are ready to go downrange when it’s their time. He makes sure the Airmen are prepared from a job-specific angle and are prepared for their new work environment. There are many different locations postal workers can be downrange. They can be stationed anywhere from an airport to a mail station in an austere location, said Sergeant Baldwin.

In addition to preparing deploying personnel from a job standpoint, he also prepares them from a war-fighting standpoint. He has spent countless hours at the 38th Construction and Training Silver Flag compound preparing them for technical war-planning, working in a contingency environment, and explosive ordnance detection. Most importantly he makes sure they all know why they are at the compound.

Besides playing a key role in how postal supports the war fighter, Sergeant Baldwin provides postal policy guidance. He is currently in the process of writing new policies in conjunction with his supervisor. They are working on a new wartime management USAFE instruction and are pushing to make it an Air Force instruction, he said.

“It wasn’t just me who earned this award. I was lucky enough to have outstanding leadership,” said Sergeant Baldwin. “It’s always nice to have leaders who trust you and have confidence in you.”

Sergeant Baldwin was also selected by the commander of the 2nd Air and Postal Squadron to help re-write the Department of Defense postal manual or the so called “Postal Bible.”

The Oregon native draws high praise from his leaders as well.
“He is an overachiever and he always strives to improve every facet of postal operations. (The award) is well deserved,” said his supervisor Matthew Haacker.

Although Sergeant Baldwin is very thankful for the great leaders he’s had, he said none of this could have been accomplished without the support of his family.