86 CES firefighters serve beyond the flame Published Nov. 17, 2023 By Airman Trevor Calvert 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany -- Housed at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, the 86th Civil Engineer Squadron provides fire prevention and emergency services to protect and serve members of the Kaiserslautern Military Community. Hosting approximately 206 firefighters makes Ramstein’s Fire Department one of the largest fire emergency services squadrons not only in the U.S. Air Force, but the Department of Defense. The team has won numerous awards for their dedicated and hard work while protecting the community. “One of our bigger achievements was winning the Ralph E. Sanborn Fire Department of the Year award,” said Armando Auila, 86th CES assistant chief of operations. “We play a crucial role in the community, so receiving awards helps boost our morale.” The firefighters’ 48-hour shifts ensure the Global Gateway retains its fire safety during normal operations and in times of crisis. “Our biggest priority is preventing fires, but we also inspect the buildings that house military members and buildings that hold aircraft,” Auila said. “We maintain utility and sprinkler systems on a daily or monthly basis to make sure that the people contributing to the mission are safe.” The shared commitment of safeguarding the mission strengthens the bond between firefighters everyday. These firefighters are together for days at a time and live at the firestation while on call. “The best part about the unit is definitely the people you work with,” said U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Albert Garcia, 86th CES firefighter. “We’re all family, especially when the duty day ends. We make dinner together, joke around, and have a good time.” The 86th CES has a small but crucial part of every facility on base, Auila said. In some sort of fashion the fire department helps to support every part of the mission by providing fire prevention measures and emergency services to allow Ramstein to project power from the Global Gateway. The 86th CES fire emergency services provides fire prevention and emergency services to support, protect and serve the Kaiserslautern Military Community.