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Airlifter of the Week: The spice of life

An Airman poses for a photo.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Raychil K. McBride, 496th Air Base Squadron air transportation function supervisor, poses for a photo at Morón Air Base, Spain, Dec. 9, 2020. McBride led her team through a 200% increase in operations servicing 35 aircraft, screening more than 150 passengers and transferring more than 30 tons of cargo. (Courtesy Photo)

An Airman screens a passenger.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Raychil K. McBride, 496th Air Base Squadron air transportation function supervisor, screens passengers at Morón Air Base, Spain, Dec. 9, 2020. McBride was recognized as Airlifter of the Week, an award recognizing outstanding Airmen in the 86th Airlift Wing. (Courtesy Photo)

An Airman searches cargo.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Raychil K. McBride, 496th Air Base Squadron air transportation function supervisor, searches cargo at Morón Air Base, Spain, Dec. 9, 2020. McBride is the squadron’s primary unit deployment manager, a volunteer victim’s advocate and one of three members in her unit certified to perform aircraft services on COVID-19 missions. (Courtesy Photo)

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany -- For Airmen, fluidity in their career field is not only welcomed, but embraced.

“My favorite part of this job is the diversity in what we do,” said Staff Sgt. Raychil K. McBride, 496th Air Base Squadron air transportation function supervisor. “Yes, I’m air transportation, but I could also work passenger services, (on) the cargo ramp or aerial port coordination. I could sit here for 10 minutes and name all the stuff I can do.”

Whether it’s at work or at home, variety keeps this Airlifter’s spirit burning bright.

Much like McBride’s work, her interests have a wide scope, spanning from writing stories, hiking in the mountains and even riding the waves in her spare time. While she initially loved surfing because of her attraction to the ocean, her passion also developed because of the thrill of the sport.

Those emotions were further increased by McBride’s entrance into the aerial porter career field in 2014.

“I was really excited when I got this job and (the recruiter) said, ‘As an aerial porter, you can go anywhere there’s a flight line,’” McBride said. “I wanted a variety of where I could go in my assignments.”

Variety came sooner rather than later for McBride as she eventually landed at the 496th ABS in Morón Air Base, Spain, a geologically separated unit of the 86th Airlift Wing.

The sheer assortment of duties is why McBride loves her career. In a normal day, McBride could be servicing aircraft and training new Airmen or tasked with a short-notice mission.

“We don’t really have anything that’s routine here,” McBride said. “We’re always flexible because tasks drop out of the sky at any time,” McBride said.

On Dec. 3, 86th AW leadership recognized McBride as the Airlifter of the Week, an award recognizing outstanding Airmen throughout the 86th Airlift Wing. McBride is her squadron’s primary unit deployment manager, a volunteer victim’s advocate and one of three members in her unit certified to perform aircraft services on COVID-19 missions.

McBride is no stranger to short-notice tasks as well; she’s led a two-person team in servicing three missions, helping the Department of Justice execute their mission effectively.

Working with different organizations is another unusual aspect of her job, and McBride’s leadership was key in helping U.S. Marines deploy safely in October. McBride coordinated four joint inspections, oversaw a 23-member joint team and cargo while also screening more than 700 Marines.

McBride is also a key figure in Coronet missions, where her team services fighter jets from various bases around the theater.

“The experience is different every single time because not every Coronet mission needs the same thing,” McBride said. “(The missions) run smoothly because we have a good team of people who know what they’re doing and that makes a big difference.”

McBride led her team through a 200% increase in operations servicing 35 aircraft, screening more than 150 passengers and transferring more than 30 tons of cargo. These efforts led to McBride’s recognition as Air Mobility Command’s Detachment 1 Top Performer for Coronet East 2020 by AMC Detachment 1 leadership.

McBride was quick to admit these achievements would not have been possible without the help of her team, from her supervisor to the junior-enlisted Airmen she oversaw.

“If I have questions my master sergeant always has our back and our Airmen are pretty awesome,” McBride said. “I rely on all of them. I don’t think I could have gotten this if I didn’t have a good team.”