Story by Senior Airman Caleb Kimmell
86th Airlift Wing/Public Affairs
From packaging and distributing meals to performing security detail, U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Kenton Waring, 435th Air Expeditionary Wing personnel support for contingency operations non commissioned officer in charge, is a jack of all trades. He is currently deployed to the 435th AEW at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, from Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina, but is currently assisting RAB in support of Operation Allies Refuge by obtaining total accountability for the evacuees.
“This situation is evolving constantly,” said Waring. “It has been an amazing lesson, showing me how fast we need to change to overcome any obstacles.”
OAR is facilitating the rapid humanitarian evacuation of U.S. citizens, Special Immigrant Visa applicants and other at-risk evacuees from Afghanistan. Over 30,000 evacuees have received support such as temporary lodging, food, and medical screening and treatment at Ramstein while preparing for onward movements to their next destinations.
The plans, layout and general flow of the operation have been continually evolving. Food lines have been expedited, tents have been moved, and processes have been steadily improving as hundreds of Airmen and partners work to care for evacuees.
“I’ve only been working in this position for a week,” said Waring. “I can already feel the camaraderie growing. The rapport is amazing.”
Waring’s main responsibility for OAR is obtaining accountability for every evacuee in their pods using their locator identification cards, a temporary ID similar to a driver’s license given to all evacuees upon arrival at the inprocessing center.
Waring also says it’s unique to see the United States military and the German Bundeswehr work together on such a scale as this.
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Waring. “This operation is a huge undertaking. It’s a blessing to be a part of it all.”
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