Cooperation builds strong relationships, lasting impact

  • Published
  • By Brig Gen. Mark Dillon
  • 86th Airlift Wing commander
With the operational readiness exercise in full swing, you may not have noticed the three Macedonian Army officers who visited parts of the 86th Airlift Wing this week. Even though the group was small, it is part of a larger long term effort to build partnerships and cooperative relationships with other partner nations.

Our leaders recognize that international partnerships are essential to success in both war and peace and our experiences in today's operations highlight that point. That's why one of our Air Force's priorities is to "Partner with the joint and coalition team to win today's fight." Here at the 86th Airlift Wing we are Building Partner Capacity by bringing our Macedonian team mates here to observe our operational readiness inspection.

As part of their visit this week, Team Ramstein helped the Army of the Republic of Macedonia in building standardized processes that will easily mesh with U.S. and NATO exercises and deployments. These processes will allow them to quickly and seamlessly provide equipment and munitions to deployed units in support of overseas contingency operations.

The Air Force considers building partnerships so important that we recently elevated it to one of the service's 12 core functions, and you, the men and women of Team Ramstein, are at the forefront of making this happen in Europe.

This visit came at a busy time for us as we prepare for the operational readiness inspection in September, but it came at a good time for you to showcase our mission and the professional manner in which you accomplish it. The Macedonians were able to see a lot of how we move people and equipment and I can tell you first hand they were impressed by what they saw.

Our partnering efforts are very important in building trust and understanding for today's fight and for tomorrow's challenges. Though you may not see our international partners they are always there alongside and this week they witnessed firsthand your great actions during our exercise.

A big thanks to you and your family for serving our Air Force while being forward deployed in Europe! Keep up the great work and I look forward to seeing you around the KMC.