• Published
  • By Lt. Col. Matthew McWhirter
  • 786th Force Support Squadron

The amazing team that makes up the 786th Force Support Squadron is comprised of members from so many backgrounds.  We have a full complement of active and reserve military service members, appropriated fund civilians, non-appropriated fund civilians and local nationals.  It is with this awesome set of diversity that we bring joy to our genuine community to further our nation’s strategic military objectives through building partnership and projecting airpower.  Moreover, we are part of the mighty ATLAS team within the 86th Mission Support Group as we bring combat support capabilities to the greater Kaiserslautern Military Community as well as numerous Geographically Separated Units across Europe and Africa.

The last eighteen months that I have been in command have been nothing short of amazing.  We have such professional and driven teammates that bring joy through service every day.  Through the positive patron experiences, and those that we have an opportunity to learn from, we continue to rise to the challenge.  Said another way, we are ATLAS STRONG!

A – Airmen are our Family:  Have you met Airman Clifton Dobbs, 786th FSS food service specialist?  You would sure know it if you had.  He always has a smile on his face, and it certainly is contagious!  He is also a part of the team that brings our community an amazing meal at the newly renovated Rheinland Inn Dining Facility.  Additionally, did you know that your Dining Facility teams served over 135,000 meals in 2022? And that is with the main facility reopening in July 2022!

T -- Team of Teams:  As the Air Force’s second largest lodging operation, and the winners of the 2022 Air Force level Innkeeper Award, we supported an average of 1,100 personnel a day while also providing agile bed space management to enable two Ukraine Defense Contact Groups for the Secretary of Defense as well as a surge of forces supporting the Ukrainian crisis.

L – Leaders at every level:  For those that think you need to have a certain rank to lead, think again.  Senior Airman Kaci Martin, 786th FSS financial operations technician, certainly did not wait.  She hit the ground running as a part of the 786th FSS Detachment 1 Finance Team located at Stuttgart.  In addition to assisting her team process finance actions for the 1,200 Airman and Guardians spread across 70 locations in 44 countries, she came to the aid of a fellow mother that was going through a challenging time.  Thanks to her efforts, the mother and children are doing much better now.

A – Accountable/Action Oriented:  We had two young teammates realize our squadron video needed updating, so Airmen 1st Class Melissa Lopez and Airman 1st Class Regan Flatt, both 786th FSS military postal clerks, took basic intent from their leadership team and ran with it.  We now have a legit hype video to show newcomers how interconnected they are and how they can positively affect each other. 

S – Share our Story:  We love to celebrate success at every level!  This year alone, we were blessed to award multiple Airmen with Below the Zone stripes, earn a Stripes for Exceptional Performers (STEP) promotion to Technical Sergeant, and have two Chief Master Sergeant selects: Senior Master Sgt. Victoria Thornton, 786th FSS acting squadron senior enlisted leader, and Senior Master Sgt.  Andrea Sierra, 786th FSS force development flight chief.

Finally, we held a competition to choose our new mascot.  Through multiple challenging rounds, the Phoenix won out!  The Phoenix is known for its renewal, rebirth and protective characteristics.  We are honored and humbled to serve alongside Team Ramstein as we continue to help project Airpower and build partnership.

Phoenix Family – Rise up…you’re ATLAS STRONG!