Every Airman is like a puzzle piece

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Hailey Haux
  • 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
The Air Force mission is like a jigsaw puzzle, it isn't complete without every piece there to make the perfect picture. Every Airman from every job brings something different to the fight.

Recently during Carpathian Spring in Romania, Airmen from Ramstein demonstrated what it means to work together to complete the mission. Airmen from the 37th Airlift Squadron and 86th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron worked hand-in-hand to contribute to the mission, essentially being another piece in the puzzle.

"As a loadmaster, we are the point of contact in the back of the aircraft for the pilots to keep them informed of what's going on in the back of the aircraft," said Staff Sgt. Calvin Freeman, 37th AS loadmaster. "We are in charge of the loading and off-loading of the aircraft as well as the people on board."

While being in charge of the cargo and personnel in flight is a important role to play, none of it would be made possible if the aircraft wasn't able to get off the ground.

"My job is to do inspections of the propellers and make sure the engine works properly," said Senior Airman Sean Acebedo, 86th AMXS engine mechanic. "Without us, the aircraft wouldn't fly. We fix anything that needs fixing and inspect everything before and after flight."

Not only did the Airmen work together to get the mission done in Romania but they also worked hand-in-hand with Romanians to build a long-lasting partnership.

"For us it's very important that we work together," said Romanian Capt. Nicolae Grigore, a platoon leader. "If we work together now, we will already speak the same language as far as tactics and everything, making it easier to communicate."

Communication is key when it comes to being mission ready and getting the job done.

"If we make a mistake, it could be someone's life," said Freeman. "It's a very important job and it's crucial that we work together and communicate."

During Carpathian Spring, six pilots were upgraded and two loadmasters met all qualifications to airdrop personnel. Overall more than 250 Romanian paratroopers were airdropped, with about 350 night-vision goggle events taking place over the course of the 10 days.

"The whole exercise exceeded our expectations," said Capt. Michael Trimble, 37th AS C-130J Super Hercules aircraft commander. "We were able to accomplish an incredible amount of quality training. Many factors that contributed to our success were the work ethic of each individual crew member, maintainer and contingency response group specialist as well as the truly generous support of our Romanian partners."

Completing a normal jigsaw puzzle can sometimes be difficult however, with the right tools and mindset; it can be accomplished to reveal the perfect scene. The same goes for the Air Force, with Airmen who know their job and do it well, the mission will be accomplished time and time again.