U.S. Space Force Guardians from the 603rd Air Operations Center, North Atlantic Treaty Organization Space Center, are volunteering around-the-clock to support Operation Allies Refuge.
Members of the 603rd AOC didn’t hesitate when tasked for OAR support.
“We saw the call for volunteers, and we’ve volunteered to do all sorts of things to make sure evacuees have what they need,” said U.S. Space Force Capt. Justine Pescetello-Parr, 603rd AOC space weapons operator.
Guardians have provided support, from processing evacuees as they get off the aircraft to helping out in the pods liaising between evacuees and lifting spirits.
“I’ve met a lot of amazing people,” said U.S. Space Force Maj. Matthew Leines, 603rd AOC deputy director of the NATO Space Center. “I had an individual ask me about the Space Force because he didn’t know America had one. And I said, ‘I thought you guys were looking for flights to the moon!’ and he started laughing then added ‘‘thank you so much. I needed to laugh because it’s been such a hard week.’ That is why we’re here not just to provide lodging but also to help raise morale.”
The 603rd AOC is part of the NATO Space Center which materialized after NATO officially acknowledged space as an operational domain.
“Guardians are starting to develop space as an operational domain for all the countries and trying to be a focal point for the 30 nations representing NATO,” Leines said.
Ramstein priorities during the largest airlift in U.S. history are to provide security, food, shelter and hygiene for the evacuees.
“I’m glad we’re able to help these individuals,” Pescetello-Parr said. “We’re talking about our fellow American citizens and our fellow (mankind) that helped us conduct operations for over 20 years.”