CSS Airmen Focus on Career Development in Summit Meeting

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. Dan Heaton
  • USAFE-AFAFRICA Public Affairs

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany – More than 100 Airmen from across Europe attended the first-ever U.S. Air Forces in Europe - Air Forces Africa Commander Support Staff (CSS) Summit here May 9-10.  

The summit was modeled after CSS Inspire, a career field-wide gathering taking place each year at Joint Base San Antonio, Texas.  

“The travel and the cost to attend CSS Inspire in Texas can make it difficult to attend, so we decided to put together our own summit here in Europe,” explained Master Sgt. Yeny Langius, section chief of the CSS for the NATO Airborne Warning and Control System Operation Squadron and E-3 Component Flying Squadron One at Geilenkirchen Air Base, Germany.  

The summit accelerated understanding of the career field by giving attendees the opportunity to focus on issues that are unique to serving in the NATO environment, Langius said.  

“We have members who are working in different systems, sometimes working with supervisors who are from different nations or at geographically separated units,” Langius said.  “[Attendees] will benefit from specifically targeted briefings and also from knowing who they might be able to reach out to for assistance. It is all about building up the skill sets of our Airmen so that they can best support the mission.” 

Master Sgt. Jennifer Bretschneider said her goal for the summit was to build connections at geographically separated units. A briefer at the summit, Bretschneider is the superintendent of personnel and resource programs at the 704th Munitions Support Squadron at Ghedi Air Base, Italy.  

“My hope is that we can create stronger partnerships between military personnel flights to ensure Airmen supporting missions away from main operating bases know how valued they are and have the support they need [to accomplish their mission],” Bretschneider said.  

Another briefing at the summit focused on the challenges that may exist when routing various documents for signature when utilizing different computer programs and systems. Staff Sgt. Dan Van Bueren, Surveillance Operator with Squadron Two E-3A Component, NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Force at Geilenkirchen, briefed on a prototype application he created called MyRouting, which is designed to facilitate paperwork being sent for command signatures. 

“MyRouting seeks to enhance routing across the board by standardizing one intuitive tool across the DAF,” he said. 

The MyRouting initiative is an example of the innovation that exists within the CSS community, Langius said.  

Senior Airman Leettha Cotto, evaluations and recognitions technician at the 786th Force Support Squadron at Ramstein, led briefings on how her unit uses a personnel tracker spreadsheet and dashboard functions on the MyFSS application. 

“The intent is to better facilitate communication and efficiency between CSS and MPF members, she said. 

Langius said networking is the key to success when working in a dynamic environment with frequently changing priorities and operational requirements, like the CSS.  

“Problem solving is at the core of being a successful CSS and staying abreast with the latest changes in the career field is essential to that success,” she said.