Ramstein Squadron Ensures Mission-Ready Airmen During Pandemic

Throughout the months of increased COVID-19 measures, the 435th Construction and Training Squadron at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, has ensured that airmen have received training necessary to maintain readiness for contingency operations by hosting training courses for various Air Force specialties within the 86th Airlift Wing.

”Our goal is to train highly capable engineers with essential warfighting skills necessary to succeed in a deployed environment,” said Air Force Master Sgt. Daniel Decastro, the infrastructure section chief with the 435th CTS.

During the training courses, the squadron provided mission-essential equipment training and training in career-specific skills such as crane certification, welding and fire rescue procedures.

As the main training unit for U.S. Air Forces in Europe, the squadron provides airmen the opportunity to increase their respective Air Force specialty skill level.

”Airmen are required to have this training every three years,” Decastro said. ”Most airmen do not have this equipment in their home station, so they come to the 435th CTS to get trained and certified to upgrade to journeyman or craftsman.”

Additionally, the squadron trains allied and partner-nation forces with similar job specialties as U.S. airmen.

”Last year we trained the Lithuanian military on how to operate, install and maintain mobile aircraft arresting systems,” Decastro said. ”In fact, our 435th CTS subject matter experts built the Lithuanian operation and maintenance program for their MAAS.”

The training courses used to teach allied and U.S. airmen would not be possible without the squadron’s ability to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.

”Our talented and smart instructors developed safety plans aligned with the wing’s guidance to be able to continue teaching the mission-essential equipment courses,” Decastro said. ”We had to cut the class sizes in half, but the bright side was students were able to get more one-on-one time with the instructor, which allowed the students to gain a better grasp of the material.”

(Air Force Senior Airman Milton Hamilton is assigned to the 86th Airlift Wing.)

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