Ravens on Ramstein stand ready

by Airman 1st Class Jordan Castelan
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Tasked with safeguarding aircraft wherever they land, Ravens will be circling.

“The Raven mission is to provide security where security is unknown,” said Staff Sgt. Efrain Perez, 86th Security Forces assistant NCOIC of flight operations.

Always standing ready for units within U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa, Ramstein’s Ravens guard some of the most vital pieces of equipment and aircraft.

“When events happen around the globe, we are the first ones there,” Perez said. “Within hours of being notified, we are on an aircraft heading to whatever destination needs us.”

Ravens prepare for a wide spectrum of missions and scenarios that facilitate an immediate response.

“Our missions vary, lasting from a few days to a week,” Perez said. “We’ve been all over Europe, seen vast amounts of Africa and even stopped in Iraq and Afghanistan. It only takes a phone call for us to end up in a far corner of the globe.”

Stressful situations are just a part of the job, Perez said. The honor of being a Raven outweighs the negative aspects in the end.

“Besides the hectic schedule and uncertainty, there is also a chance for something to surprise you and make life a little more difficult,” Perez said. “A mission to the country of Georgia comes to mind. It was a case of bad timing. Tensions between Georgia and Russia were on a breaking point and we were stuck on an airstrip. You never really expect some of these situations to happen, but we always press on.”

The tightly manned Raven force creates a close-knit community — a collection of Airmen who rely and believe in one another.

“You have to trust the Airman next to you,” Perez said.

Ramstein’s fast alert defense might only consist of a few defenders from the 86th SFS, however these few ensure the safety and livelihoods of many.

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