Awing The Misters
Civilian leaders participating in the Joint Civilian Orientation
Conference got a firsthand — and sometimes hands-on —
look Tuesday at how US Air Forces in Europe supports the war on
About 50 business, academic and local government leaders from
throughout the United States sat in the cockpits of F-15 Eagle and
F-16 Fighting Falcon fighters and climbed aboard KC-135
Stratotankers, A-10 Thunderbolt "Warthogs" and C-130 Hercules troop
transports at the airbase in Ramstein, Germany.
The civilian leaders watched demonstrations of how airmen
palletize loads for transport, and some tried their hand at
securing them within aircraft. Later, following a briefing on US
European Command by Gen. Charles F. Wald, the command's deputy
commander, they watched the 86th Contingency Response Group conduct
an "engine-running offload" similar to the one used to open the
Bashur Air Base in northern Iraq.
Air Force Gen. Robert H. "Doc"
Foglesong, USAFE commander, called the chance to host "shakers and
movers" from throughout the United States an invaluable
opportunity. "They carry our message for us wherever they go more
effectively than anybody I know," he said. "I never miss the
opportunity to share the exciting work we do with very influential
citizens who leave here and spread the word to their communities
about the wonderful things our men and women in uniform are
Richard Roper, president of the Roper Group, a public policy
consulting firm in Newark, N.J., said he had expected that the US
military presence in Europe would be "sophisticated and first
class." What he wasn't expecting, he said, was the quality of the
leadership he observed during his visit to Ramstein.
"It's obvious that they're articulate and thoughtful and
committed," he said. "It gives you a great deal of confront about
what the military should be able to accomplish anywhere in the
"I'm really impressed with the professionalism I've seen —
not just the officers, but the young enlisted guys, too," agreed
Bob Irish, managing partner for Dynamic Results in Dallas. "They
know their stuff, and you can see that they love what they do."
(ANN salutes Donna Miles, American Forces Press