Ramstein Airmen, Polish community work together

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Jimmie D. Pike
  • 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Smiling youths filled a school gym in Poland as new friends from across the world arrived to teach and play basketball with primary and secondary school students.

Airmen from the 86th Airlift Wing deployed to the 52nd Operations Group, Detachment 1, at Powidz Air Base, Poland, and spent their free time engaging with a nearby local community on July 13, 2019.

“I’ve had the opportunity to work in other countries coaching kids, and I love it,” said Tech. Sgt. Steven McCoy, 52nd Operations Group, Detachment 1 traffic manager and community outreach coordinator. “Sports like basketball teach teamwork, selflessness, and that you can’t win by yourself.”

Other than developing life skills, the event provided the community and the Airmen an opportunity to practice communicating in another language.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for the students and adults to use our English,” said Darek Łukaswicz, a history teacher with the community’s secondary school. “The cooperation allows us to play sports and learn about each other’s history.”

After playing basketball for a time, volunteers and community members picked up trash throughout the community. The trash pickup finished at a park where participants were treated to a barbeque.

“The whole day was a great experience to meet with the community and see what a new culture is like and craft new bonds,” said Airman 1st Class Brandon Pippin, 86th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron electrical and environmental specialist. “The kids enjoyed our presence and feel like they know we’re here for them.”