World traveler becomes Airlifter

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Madelyn Keech
  • 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Brandan Wilson, 86th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron flying crew chief program manager, grew up in Derby, Kan., and always wanted to join the Air Force. 

Wilson went to basic training almost 18 years ago. Since then, he has had many assignments, but only a couple stand out to him as favorites: Pápa Air Base, Hungary, and Ramstein Air Base, Germany.

The mission at PAB is to build a multinational team capable of quickly responding to strategic airlift taskings. The integrated team made up of service members from 12 nations focuses on all C-17 Globemaster aircraft missions: airlift, air refueling and air drop. 

Wilson enjoyed working with other countries while stationed in Hungary. The base’s small size made it easy to see how each unit works together toward the mission. 

Being stationed at Ramstein allows Wilson to travel, and he has been to most of Europe for both work and vacation. Some of his favorite places to visit were Greece and Croatia  because he could take boats out to different islands. 

While he has expressed his passion for travel both on-duty and off-duty, Wilson has never been anywhere in South America. He said he would like to visit someday, regardless of if the mission takes him there or not. 

“I really like to do international traveling and the whole experience with different cultures and intermingling,” he said. “I was working with [service members from] other countries, and then we just became friends and our families started hanging out.”

Aside from traveling, Wilson said he likes being stationed at Ramstein because of the mission to build Airmen, project power and support partners. 

“[At Ramstein], we’re a part of everything,” Wilson said. “It feels like we’re always on the front helping with COVID-19 supplies, Operation Allies Welcome, and now Eastern Europe.” 

Wilson, who was recently selected as Airlifter of the Week, is an active member of the 86th Maintenance Group Agile Combat Employment/Multi-Capable Airman working group. His contributions to MCA include defining and developing the concept into the workings of aircraft maintenance. 

As a section chief, Wilson is instrumental to leading 21 maintenance Airmen for the 86 AMXS FCC program by scheduling them and managing their times and training. Since January, Wilson has managed and scheduled maintenance personnel in support of 57 contingency operation missions in Eastern Europe for a total of 442 flight hours, movement of 697 personnel and approximately 608,000 pounds of cargo. 

Lt. Col. Kelly Collier, 86 AMXS commander, said Wilson is able to balance the schedules of his Airmen from ensuring they are fully trained and qualified to ensuring they are able to take leave and rest from being away often. 

“Wilson is one of the most adaptive Airmen I have ever had the privilege to work with,” Collier said. “Watching him interact with the FCCs and seeing how they work together to get the right person on the right mission at the right time and then watching all of that change when a new mission gets tasked is truly incredible.”