Weather, air traffic system rated ‘outstanding’

by Lt. Col. Stu Weinberger86th Operations Support Squadron commander

***image1***A robust team from the U.S. Air Forces in Europe headquarters evaluated the 86th Airlift Wing and 435th Air Base Wing Sept. 24 to 28. The team looked at the wing’s ability to provide quality air traffic services and mission execution weather support for Ramstein. 

“The air traffic system is providing outstanding support to all system users,” the evaluation team said.  “The Air Traffic System Evaluation Program visit was a thorough examination of the KMC’s ability to run Ramstein’s airfield. In addition to the 86th Operations Support Squadron’s air traffic controllers, airfield managers and weather forecasters, it takes communications experts from the 435th Communications Squadron and civil engineers from the 435th and 735th civil engineer squadrons to operate and maintain the airfield and all the communications and navigation equipment on it,” said Brig. Gen. Rich Johnston, KMC and 86th Airlift Wing commander.  “All units were evaluated and all contributed to the ‘Outstanding’ rating.”

The evaluation team identified several individuals, pictured above, for their expertise and performance. Master Sgt. Mark Ayres, 86th OSS, was identified as an exceptional performer and 10 Airmen were awarded outstanding performers − Tech. Sgt. Peter Brestak, 735th CES; Tech. Sgt. Michael Minkler, Staff Sgt. Jeff Vogel, Staff Sgt. Rebecca Rose, Senior Airman Robert Pupilis, Senior Airman Jesse van Wagner and Airman 1st Class Earl Pruett of the 86th OSS; and Staff Sgt. John Kochenower, Staff Sgt. Aaron Tibbits and Staff Sgt. Amos Potter of the 435th CS.

The ATSEP team identified the air traffic control simulator system as a benchmark for USAFE. Similarly, the Air Force Weather Standardization and Evaluation Program visit was a comprehensive evaluation of the 86th OSS weather flight’s ability to provide “eyes forward” support to the 21st Operational Weather Squadron at Sembach and mission support to the 37th, 38th and 76th airlift squadrons. Based on Air Force and USAFE criteria for compliance and performance areas, the flight earned an overall “Outstanding” score.