AOTW: Lajes NCO oversees major contract fulfillments

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman John R. Wright
  • 86th Airlift Wing/Public Affairs

Ramstein’s geographically separated unit at Lajes Field, Azores, Portugal, has seen major contract fulfillments in the last year, thanks to U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Dominick Cagle, 765th Air Base Squadron contracting flight section chief.

Since joining the 65th Air Base Group team in March, Cagle has led a five-member section to the highest spend at Lajes in over 10 years, totaling $14.2 million and 106 unique contract actions.

“His team’s efforts impacted every aspect of the 65 ABG’s mission, from 11 airfield repair projects totaling $7.4 million to overseeing completion of renovations to the base’s sole club, a $3.7 million project, that functions as the main source of dining for personnel,” said Master Sgt. Ryan Ledford, 765 ABS contracting flight chief.

Top of the Rock Commons, the base club, is a multi-purpose building including a dining facility and ballrooms for community events.

“The Top of the Rock club is similar to the Officer’s Club at Ramstein,” Cagle said. “We don’t have a dining facility here, so that’s like our sole place for food. The (project) was a fiscal year 2019 contract, so it took about two years to complete.”

Cagle also completed a five-year maintenance contract supporting navigational aid, which enabled four combatant command refueling missions, supported successful Portuguese air force search and rescue missions and supported Coronet air bridge capabilities.

“Coronet is a capability with aircraft and refuelers to get to theater quickly, with as few stops as possible,” Cagle said. “Here at Lajes we enable that with our fueling capability where they land here, refuel and get up and go again very quickly.”

Previously assigned to the 700th Contracting Squadron at Kapaun Air Station, Germany, Cagle now leads a team comprised entirely of local nationals under the 765 ABS.

“It’s probably one of the most unique experiences that I’ll ever have,” Cagle said. “They’re great people and they’re dedicated to the mission of the 86th (Airlift Wing). They’re very helpful in everything, no matter what.”

When Cagle, a Salt Lake City, Utah, native, isn’t working, he tries to take advantage of his unique location within the Azores, a group of islands off the mainland of Portugal.

“I like to see what the island has to offer, like check out the different sights,” Cagle said. “I go on hikes with my dog, similar to the trails that they had in Germany.”

Cagle also dedicates much of his time to education. His focus is not only on earning college degrees, but also on furthering his work skillset. He is currently within eight classes of graduating from an organizational management degree program.

“Not only is he in school, but he recently got an increase to one of his certifications and one of his key work qualifications,” Ledford said. “We call it a warrant in contracting. It’s basically the purchase authority that we have.”

His well-rounded leadership, hard work and dedication to positive growth and development led to Cagle’s recognition by 86 AW leadership as Airlifter of the Week, Nov. 18.

“The biggest thing that he does outside of doing his job really well, is taking care of people really well,” Ledford said. “He does the small things that make life easy and life better. It’s one thing to do your job and do it well, but it’s another to do the things behind the scenes and care for your people. That’s rare, and he does both of those things very well.”

Cagle has not been the only one to receive an award in his section. While he has been a section chief for the 765 ABS contracting flight, his team has received five individual quarterly awards and two wing-level quarter awards.

“Them surprising me for this has obviously been humbling,” Cagle said. “I’m not one for recognition usually of myself. I take the time to always do it for other people because I think it shows them that I care as a leader, and obviously now I feel it coming back my way.”