Readiness stressed at ‘World’s Best Wing’

by Staff Sgt. Jimmie D. Pike
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Brig. Gen. Mark August, 86th Airlift Wing commander, addresses Airmen assigned to the 86th AW at an all call on Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Sept. 27, 2018. August outlined his commitment to taking care of Airmen by providing more leadership, resources and recognition. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Milton Hamilton)


Brig. Gen. Mark August, 86th Airlift Wing commander, listens to a question posed by an Airmen at an all call on Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Sept. 27, 2018. August opened up the floor to allow Airmen to voice their concerns and get feedback from the new wing commander. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Milton Hamilton)

Brig. Gen. Mark August, 86th Airlift Wing commander, held his first all-call at Hangar 3 on Ramstein Air Base, Sept. 27.

August aimed to reach all personnel assigned to the 86th AW in one day. During the all-calls, he emphasized his priorities and stressed the importance of readiness.

“This entire team is about professional airlift,” said August. “The way I see it if it’s anytime, anywhere, from the pavement up it’s our responsibility.”


While professional airlift was the first priority mentioned, August elaborated on four other objectives he plans to obtain, including: gateway to the world, taking care of Airmen, engagement, and preparation. The overall goal is to ensure the 86th AW is the “World’s Best Wing” and the major command’s first choice for any occasion.

“When USAFE is looking for something to get done, I want their first choice, every time, to be the 86th Airlift Wing,” said August. “We represent enough capability here for the command to not have to look outside our fenceline.”

To reach his established vision for the 86th AW, August gave his focus for the team.

“You’re going to hear me talk about readiness all day, every day,” said August. “It’s my passion; it’s about mission, it’s about us. Readiness starts at the organizational level. It starts here at the wing, it’s what your commanders do to get you ready for the mission.”

Ramstein Airmen listen to Brig. Gen. Mark August, 86th Airlift Wing commander, at an all call on Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Sept. 27, 2018. August spoke about the importance of readiness and the 86th Airlift Wing’s vital role in the Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Milton Hamilton)

Readiness goes deeper than the team and organization, it is each Airman’s responsibility, he added.

“The days of having six months to train for deployment are over,” said August. “To be prepared, I’m going to ask you to be ready to fight tonight, not six months from now.”

August indicated that all levels of leadership plan to support each unit and each member to meet the standard.

“We have to be ready,” said August. “You tell me when, how much, what you need to get there – and my answer is ‘Yes.’”

Airmen leaving the all-calls were inspired by the new direction given to them, despite the large order.

“He set his expectations and guidelines, and told us what he wants,” said Staff Sgt. Darius Golson, assigned to the 86th AW. “He told us what he is turning us toward. We just need to be ready.”