‘World’s Best Wing’ a CINC IEA Finalist

Story and photos by
Airman 1st Class Milton Hamilton
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
The Commander in Chief’s Installation Excellence selection board sits with the 86th Airlift Wing command team on Ramstein Air Base, Jan. 14. The CINC selection board met with 86th AW and tenant unit leadership, before visiting various units around base.

Ramstein Air Base, home of “The World’s Best Wing,” is a finalist for the top installation in the Air Force.

The 2019 Commander in Chief’s Installation Excellence Award selection board visited Ramstein and surrounding Kaiserslautern Military Community Air Force installations Jan. 14-16 to evaluate base operations and gain an understanding of the Airmen that allow the mission to function.

Defense Commissary agency staff give Chief Master Sergeant Diena Mosely, 30th Space Wing command chief, a tour of the commissary on Ramstein Air Base, Jan. 15. During the tour Mosely learned about the logistics of getting food from U.S. to Germany.

“We couldn’t be prouder,” said Brig. Gen. Mark August, commander of the 86th Airlift Wing. “We showed the selection board why we are the DoD standard in mission, mission support, and execution. The team left with a great impression on how our Airmen have an immediate mission impact across this part of the world.”

The selection board toured dozens of units across the 86th Airlift Wing, the 521st Air Mobility Operations Wing, the 435th Air Ground Operations Wing, and other tenant units, looking for innovation in several areas to include installation management, quality of life and unit morale, environmental stewardship, health and security, and public affairs.

Master Sgt. Kendrick Burton, Airman Leadership School commandant, had an opportunity to meet the team and show his unit’s excellence.

“I felt it was a great opportunity to be able to showcase what Ramstein brings to the fight,” said Burton. “Both CINC members I met were genuinely interested and asked questions that were poignant to the mission here.”

Staff Sgt. Jeric Hernandez, 86th Munitions Squadron quality assurance inspector, whose unit also was evaluated by the team, agreed.

“I think our unit is the best in the Air Force because we have a culture of innovation that breeds fresh ideas,” said Hernandez.

Each unit was inspected individually, but ultimately demonstrated Ramstein’s mission is executed by these individual units working together.

ZP5 Timo Joas, 86th Security Forces Squadron, chief of civilian police shows U.S. Air Force Col. Michael Miller, 2nd Bomb Wing, commander, Barksdale AFB, Louisiana, the security capabilities of the commercial vehicle search facility on Ramstein Air Base, Jan. 15. Miller toured the facilities and learned about the German National civilian force that controls all of the inbound local commercial vehicle traffic.

“We are the best because no one person or unit is bigger than the mission,” said Burton. “Our Air Force thrives on the need to be able to partner with others and capitalize on the strengths of others. Nowhere else is this concept seen as acutely as here.”

The 86th should be proud of the hard work and flexibility of all the representatives of the 86th AW and its’ tenant units, said August.

“All I can really say is thank you,” said August. “We shared what excellence looks like every single day, and there’s no doubt in my mind that we’re going to bring home the big trophy on this one.”

The Commander in Chief’s annual Installation Excellence Award was established in 1985 by former President Ronald Reagan to highlight innovation and creativity by the people who maintain and operate U.S. military installations. Ramstein joins McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas, as the final Air Force Installations in competition. The Air Force winner will compete with sister services’ installations for the final award, to be announced in the spring.