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786th CES Airman executes training through innovation, resourcefulness

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class John R. Wright
  • 86th Airlift Wing/Public Affairs
A 786th Civil Engineer Squadron Airman was awarded Airlifter of the Week for her innovation and resourcefulness in the execution of training at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Aug. 6, 2020.

Staff Sgt. Sarah Walser, 786th CES emergency management training noncommissioned officer in charge, coordinates all emergency management training, including the chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense course, for Airmen assigned to the 86th Airlift Wing, 435th Air Ground Operations Wing and 521st Air Mobility Operations Wing.

“Staff Sgt. Sarah Walser has been a vital member to the 86th AW’s readiness focus, ensuring worldwide combat readiness for 4,500 Airmen annually,” said Master Sgt. Nick Barnum, 786th CES emergency management section chief.

Working daily with 160 unit schedulers, Walser provides customer support to secure training for the 86th AW’s combat and disaster response force Airmen.

“Staff Sgt. Walser has displayed a sustained attitude for resourcefulness and innovation by working with multiple agencies to meet a wide array of training initiatives, going well beyond normal proficiency training standards,” Barnum said.

In her latest innovative effort, Walser has reached out to the 86th Security Forces Squadron K-9 unit to initiate more frequent interagency training that focuses on CBRN defense exercises.

“We want to make sure we’re cohesively operating,” Walser said. “That we’re able to speak the same lingo and protect not only ourselves, but the K-9s that are so important to us and the mission.”

Walser, a Thornville, Ohio, native, was also hand-selected to be the flight morale officer for the 23 members in her section.

Chosen for her excellent attitude and devotion, Walser has led several events boosting team unity and resiliency, Barnum said.

Outside of work, Walser enjoys traveling, refurbishing old furniture and cooking, a hobby she incorporates into her role in flight morale.

One way of keeping morale up is with a steady supply of baked goods, so I try to bring those in as often as I can, Walser said.

For someone who has demonstrated a strong work ethic by proactively responding to EM training requirements for Team Ramstein and pursuing more frequent and all-encompassing joint defense exercises, Walser humbly directs any praise she receives to her flight.

“I’m very grateful that they did recognize me, but it’s not just me, it’s the training section,” Walser said. “That is the entire EM flight, not a singular person. It’s the folks that are deployed right now – the folks that are handling business. We’ve got folks everywhere, and they’re still doing their training to maintain our capabilities here.”

It is Airmen like Walser, who demonstrate a high level of dedication to their job and go above and beyond the status quo, that make this the World’s Best Wing.