Ramstein deployed Airman helps those coming home: Airlifter of the Week

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Kirby Turbak
  • 86 Airlift Wing Public Affairs

An Airman from the Deployment Transition Center was awarded Airlifter of the Week, Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Nov. 25, 2019.

U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Mark R. August, 86th Airlift Wing commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Ernesto J. Rendon, 86th AW command chief, congratulated Senior Airman Eric Mrkonja, DTC lodging manager and vehicle control officer, for his work with deployed service members returning home.

In the last four months, he has coordinated lodging for over 1,500 redeployers and transported over 91 tons of cargo for members transitioning home.

Mrkonja is currently performing twice the amount of work expected from someone in his position.

“Eric isn’t only doing a phenomenal job, he’s doing jobs that are usually done by two noncommissioned officers,” August said.

As a vehicle control officer, Mrkonja worked with the 700th Contracting Squadron to purchase four passenger vans needed for daily operations.

Mrkonja says he couldn’t have done it without the help of his fellow wingmen.

“I’d like to thank the whole staff here. Specifically I’d like to thank my logistics staff, Sgt. Nailer, Sgt. Jones, Sgt. Sanders and Lt. Taylor,” said Mrkonja. “They helped me out every day with different obstacles. So huge thanks to them.”

The DTC provides critical reintegration skills and decompression opportunities for service members returning home after deployment.

Mrkonja, a Pittsburgh native, enjoys working out, sports, travel, trying new foods and spending time with his family and friends.

The Airlifter of the Week program recognizes Ramstein Airmen for their hard work and dedication, making the 86th AW the “World’s Best Wing.”