86th AW leadership talks resiliency, upcoming exercise, and preparation for the future

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Taylor D. Slater
  • 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Leadership of the 86th Airlift Wing hosted their 3rd all-call of 2019 on Sept. 17 at the Southside Fitness Center, where they discussed resilience, upcoming exercises, and preparation for inspections in February 2020.


“As good as we are, and as proud as we are with the mission that we accomplish every single day, we need to continue this discussion on connectedness, resilience and a focus on you, the Airmen,” said Brig. Gen. Mark R. August, 86th Airlift Wing commander. “We’re going to see some challenges here for the future, and we really need to highlight for all of you what the next six months is really going to look like because we are approaching inspection season here at the wing.”


August and Chief Master Sgt. Ernesto Rendon, 86th AW command chief, highlighted the efforts of the 86th AW during the Resiliency Tactical Pause on Aug. 30, and expressed the continued need to pause at least twice a year.


“We have a unique opportunity to demonstrate our war-fighting skills across nearly every AFSC (Air Force Specialty Code) that the Air Force has to offer,” said August.


August emphasized that Ramstein is more than the mission; it is a team and a family.


Rendon recognized the importance of considering different perspectives and generations in the Air Force, noting that many young Airmen weren’t even born when he first enlisted.


“We’ve got our youngest Airmen who we most worry about,” said Rendon. “Somewhere around the [early 20s], and what you’re dealing with is unlike what we’ve experienced as Airmen.”


Rendon said Ramstein is making efforts to extend assignments for first-term Airmen and strengthen connectedness and resiliency through their community action team. He also said the 86th AW is planning to utilize their 2019 Commander in Chief’s Installation Excellence Award earnings effectively, with improvements such as the Southside Fitness Center scheduled to be open 24 hours by winter 2019 and public Wi-Fi for customer service agencies.


Rendon and August discussed new and future challenges in the 86th AW as far as changes in testing requirements for enlisted and officer ranks, efforts to get the 2020 budget approved, and the upcoming Unit Effectiveness Inspection in February 2020.


“We’re going to set the bar so high that no one else is going to be able to clear it,” said August. “But the challenge that we’re going to see upfront is we’ve still got to get through the compliance piece.”


August also discussed Operation Varsity 19-03, scheduled for Sept. 23-27.


“Starting next week, you’re going to see us kick into full gear,” said August. “What it means to be ready, what it means to be lethal, and what it means to be resilient.”


August ended the all-call by communicating 86th AW’s goals to continue being highly effective and focused on Airmen.


 “We look forward to leading the team as we go through the next six months of constant inspections and preparations, but at the end of the day it’s going to come down to you,” said August. “It’s going to come down to the leaders in a room, and the Chief and I couldn’t be more proud.”