445th units integrate with Germany air bases for AT

  • Published
  • By Capt. Rachel Ingram
  • 445th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Defenders, maintainers, Port Dawgs and wing staff from the 445th Airlift Wing integrated with Airmen at Ramstein and Spangdahlem Air Bases in Germany, July 22 – Aug. 5. The Airmen provided mission support to active-duty counterparts, simultaneously gaining hands-on training.

“A lot of behind-the-scenes coordination occurs ahead of an annual tour like this one, and once the orders begin, it’s then up to each individual Airman who has boots on the ground to accomplish the mission,” said Senior Master Sgt. Ryan Lamarr, 445th Security Forces Squadron operations superintendent.

The SFS split their team of  35 Defenders between Ramstein and Spangdahlem for annual tour. At Ramstein, 445th Defenders bolstered law enforcement and security operations, providing force protection for three major commands, one numbered air force, three wings and $8 billion in assets supporting the installation’s strategic capabilities. 

“While working in partnership with the 86th Security Forces Squadron, our security forces Defenders responded to domestic violence incidents, gate runners, in-flight emergencies and host-nation law enforcement support with drug interdiction operations,” said Senior Master Sgt. Sean McCaslin, 445th SFS logistics and training superintendent.

Ramstein is an optimal base for training because of the volume of traffic that transits the base, not only in the form of airlifted cargo and passengers, but the 7 million personnel entering through the gates annually.

“The air terminal at Ramstein is active,” said Master Sgt. Michael Young, 87th Aerial Port Squadron team chief. “A lot of cargo and passengers flow through the base.”

During the course of the annual tour, 28 Airmen from the 87th Aerial Port Squadron worked a total of 153 missions with 3,627 passengers and about 1,100 tons of cargo.

The Port Dawgs trained in passenger services, cargo processing, ramp and fleet services, and load planning.

“We often end up working hand in hand with Ramstein Port Dawgs on deployments,” Young said.

Training opportunities which involve integration with other units across all components of the Air Force strengthens deployment capabilities, he explained.

Knowledge sharing between squadrons creates a  stronger, more unified force, said Master Sgt. Keric Johnson, 445th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron APG (Airframe Powerplant General) section supervisor.

“We are learning from them, and they are learning from us, too,” Johnson said.

For some junior enlisted Airmen, this annual tour was their first opportunity to experience a high operations tempo. On the other hand, more than half of the 445th SFS deployed last year, and during those deployments, the Defenders honed their skills.

“A two-way knowledge exchange allows those newer Airmen to learn from the more seasoned individuals, but it also grants an opportunity for the squadron to gain a fresh, different perspective from a new generation,” Lamarr said.

While the Defenders and the Port Dawgs handled personnel and cargo, maintainers looked after the aircraft coming through the base, each of which had to be inspected and serviced prior to departure.

“Ramstein offers the opportunity for Airmen to gain the experience of working on aircraft in theater with high tempo and rapid mobility,” Johnson said.

In total, 28 Airmen from the 445th AMXS and 445th Maintenance Squadron worked on 14 aircraft, including 10 inspections, five refuels, five launches and seven recoveries, and two different kinds of landing gear tire changes.

At Spangdahlem AB, 445th SFS Defenders conducted a base-wide audit of over 2,200 restricted areas badges, successfully completing the base commander’s top priority of ensuring the security of infrastructure valued at $2.9 billion, 1,600 acres and 630 buildings.

“Combat arms instructors augmented the 52nd SFS CATM [Combat Arms Training and Maintenance] section by addressing critical compliance MICT [Management Internal Control Toolkit] write-ups and deficiencies, getting the unit back on track,” McCaslin said. “The CATM instructors taught six classes and facilitated range time, resulting in the qualification of 72 personnel on two weapons systems preparing them for deployment operations.”

Between classes and range time, the 445th SFS CATM instructors also conducted weapons inspections that led to the repair of 15 weapon systems valued at over $10,000, and assisted with hazardous material disposal operations, preparing 72,000 pounds of waste and eliminating a four-year backlog.

The 89th Airlift Squadron provided airlift for all 95 of the 445th AW Airmen on a C-17 Globemaster III both directions.