Airlifter of the Week: Always ready

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Taylor D. Slater
  • 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

For some readiness isn’t just a word, it’s a mantra they live by every day.

”My biggest motto is, ‘Stay ready so we don’t have to get ready,’” said Staff Sgt. Rashad Speller, noncommissioned officer in charge of readiness at the 86th Airlift Wing Chapel. “If you’re always ready, then you won’t have to scramble to get ready at the last minute.”

Speller, winner of Airlifter of the Week, lives and breathes readiness both on and off the job.

While Speller’s Air Force career began as a member of the 569th Security Forces Squadron in 2011, his interest in readiness originated from a passion for logistics in his job prior to joining.

”I used to work at an industrial plant,” Speller said. “I’ve seen how they had to have all their parts there at a certain time and how they had to try to figure out the costs. ‘What’s the best cost for this part?’ ‘Is it better than the other part we ordered years ago?’ Things like that really intrigued me.”

Speller cross-trained into religious affairs in 2017, where Speller’s supervisors were able to connect his industrial interest with personnel preparation.

Readiness transcends to Speller’s home life, where he works hard to make sure his family is ready for anything at any time.

“I’m a proactive guy,” Speller said. “So when it comes to being at home it’s the simple things: Making sure things are taken care of before leaving the house, making sure everything is set up for the wife and the family [on deployments] so that way she doesn’t have to worry about things when I’m gone. It’s just being prepared.”

As NCOIC of readiness, Speller manages the second-largest chapel team in the Air Force on military readiness requirements, becoming a key part of the chapel team’s success during Operation Varsity 20-04.

“I made sure everyone was knowledgeable and made sure everybody was doing the right thing,” Speller said. “I let everyone know what each person’s job consists of and also let them know what [their colleague’s] job was just in case their wingman went down. I made sure everyone knew what was going on not just in our area, but around the base.”

On Nov. 5, Speller earned Airlifter of the Week, an award recognizing outstanding Airmen across the wing. Speller’s dedication ensured that 63 critical deployment items met Air Force and Department of Defense requirements. Speller also organized the Emergency Management function, ensuring effective responses and survivability in support of all Kaiserslautern Military Community personnel. Speller’s skillset guides the eight-member Chapel Control Center team which formulated 100% mission compliance during Operation Varsity 20-04.

However, Speller is quick to admit this achievement would not have been possible without the help of his team.

“I have a great team and we do this all collectively,” Speller said. “I want to continue to be the best I can be to make sure that we’re all mission-capable, mission-ready and mission-focused.”