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Airlifter of the Week: Leading the pack

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jennifer Gonzales
  • 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Many responsibilities fall on the shoulders of leaders, but it’s not always those who are older and wiser to fit such a role. At Ramstein Air Base, leaders come from all walks of life and may even show up as junior enlisted Airmen.

Senior Airman Courtland D. Cobb, 86th Vehicle Readiness Squadron mission generation vehicular equipment maintenance journeyman, has shown his capability to lead in many ways, whether it be environmentally or through displays of wingmanship. This earned him the award of Airlifter of the Week, July 9, 2020.

“Since day one of stepping into the shop, they told me I was hazmat manager,” Cobb said. “Because of that, I’ve been in this wormhole of environmental science. I have a passion for it and having a step forward within the Air Force to have my hands in that field is something I’m taking advantage of.”
Cobb was the first in the 86th VRS to use their Pollution Prevention funding. He identified a deficit and worked with the 786th Civil Engineer Squadron environmental flight, as well as Tetra Tech Inc., to secure $22,000 worth of antifreeze recycling systems.

These products reduce the amount of work for Airmen and allow Ramstein to stay in sync with Germany's environmental standards, according to Cobb.

"Germany's upgrading their environmental standards and we have to abide by them,” Cobb said. “I wanted to see what equipment we could get to modernize our streams and make our jobs easier."

His dedication to the mission didn’t stop there. Cobb freely came to work on the weekends to help his noncommissioned officers in charge with a backlog of vehicles. He ensured 11 vehicles were in-checked, opened six work orders and completed parts requests for five vehicles.

"The quality control inspections on vehicles – in-check and out-check – take about an hour in total," Cobb said. "What takes a while is the administration work behind it. That can take 45 minutes to an hour for each vehicle. Creating a parts request varies on each vehicle."

Multiply all of that time and the outcome Cobb accomplished amounted to about a week’s worth of work, which substantially decreased the logjam of vehicles.

Furthermore, Cobb was in charge of the 86th VRS vehicle management flight’s employee safety and health training, where he instructed 17 classes to 156 personnel on Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards. He also supervised the flight’s Technical Order program, where he scrutinized more than 1,000 repair manuals for nine different maintenance shops. His efforts ensured delivery of up-to-date and accurate technical data for 195 mechanics.

Maj. Randon Davis, 86th VRS commander, said Cobb goes above and beyond, stepping up ahead of his peers and is truly doing the work of an NCO. It seems he has the ability to see beyond the scope of his position.

"Now that I've been in for a while and I've learned what it is to do this job, I volunteer to do it because it helps everyone," Cobb said. "The camaraderie on the weekends is super cool."

Cobb's dedication and wingmanship showcase his leadership skills. He and his team are part of what makes this the World's Best Wing.