Ramstein welcomes back 76th AS deployers
RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany - Six months can go by in the blink of an eye, but for some, it can feel like six years since they’ve said goodbye to someone they love.
As the plane landed, excitement filled the air as family and friends gathered on the tarmac for the return of ten 76th Airlift Squadron members, one 86th Operations Support Squadron member, and four contract maintenance personnel on Ramstein Air Base, Germany, April 1, 2017.
Coming back from a six month deployment at Kabul Air Field, Afghanistan, this C-20H modified Gulfstream IV aircrew was the only flying squadron in the 86th Operations Group that was deployed to a combat area of responsibility.
While deployed, the 76th AS served as the official transportation for the commander of Resolute Support Mission (COMRES), U.S. Army Gen. John W. Nicholson Jr.
Resolute Support Mission is a NATO-led train, advise, and assist mission for the Afghan security forces, consisting of more than 13,000 military service members.
“This was my first deployment with the 76th AS and it’s actually been one of the most rewarding deployments that I’ve ever been on in my Air Force career,” said Master Sgt. Fransworth Murraine, 76th AS flight engineer.
The 76th AS provides time-critical airlift support to the mission in Afghanistan by facilitating intra-theater and inter-theater airlift for the commander as he continues to further the Afghan security transition.
“We were taking him [Gen. Nicholson] around Afghanistan, and he’s going through making sure all of his people are taken care of, taking care of fallen soldiers and ensuring units are prepped and poised to get the mission accomplished,” said Maj. Jeffrey Aubry, 76th AS pilot.
The mission is key to ensuring the Afghan government continues to develop the tools and capabilities to ensure the safety and security of Afghanistan.
“With the reliability of the C-20, we had a 100 percent mission success rate,” Aubry said.
Great morale and leadership can contribute to overall mission success, said Aubry.
“The leadership we had out there and the drive that he pushed to all the members made us come back from this deployment better off than when we left,” Aubry said. “To me, that is what defines success.”
Although members of the 76th AS are happy to be a part of the mission, they are also grateful to be back and surrounded by loved ones.
“There’s no place like home and being with family…” Murraine said.