Airman take the wheel!

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Edgar Grimaldo
  • 86 Airlift Wing / Public Affairs

With a packed schedule and high demand for service, the team of 86th Vehicle Readiness Squadron drivers and mechanics work around the clock to ensure Airmen and objects alike get to their destinations in an orderly time.

The 86 VRS general-purpose driver flight keeps units on Ramstein ready for any mission that requires them to be behind the wheel.

“Our main goal is to transport Airmen to and from the flight line in an orderly fashion,” said U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. David Martinez, 86 VRS training validation and operation noncommissioned officer in charge. “ We are also responsible for moving cargo via tractors, trailers and forklifts.”

In an era where aircraft are the main source of cargo transportation, trailers still provide a much cheaper solution.

“Working at the 86 VRS is fairly fast-paced and confusing at first,” said Airman 1st Class Jeremy Sitko, 86 VRS ground transportation. “Then you find out the bigger picture. It gives you a sense of purpose knowing you’re a part of something bigger than yourself.”

The 86 VRS has been a 24/7 operation ready to shuttle anyone at a moment's notice. They are a malleable task force ready to tackle any request that comes their way.

“Whether it be COVID-19, Operation Allies Welcome or European Support 2022, our Airmen have always found a way to step up to the mission and innovate, ”Martinez said.

Airmen from the 86 VRS prove they are exceeding standards by figuring out ways to protect themselves from COVID-19 and finish training ahead of time.

“When new Airmen first arrive at Ramstein, their first certification is on a forklift, which is a fairly low threat,” Martinez said. “They then move on to bus, and later tractor and trailer, which gives people a sense of purpose and pride knowing they’re playing a bigger role in the mission.”

While Personnel can carry out normal operations partially certified, but trainers make it their mission to get every Airman fully certified in order to face any potential threat.

Whether on or off the flightline the 86 VRS has been hard at work guaranteeing Airmen get to their aircraft, ensuring the timely movement of mission-essential passengers and driving mission success.