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Air Traffic service before self

Robins Frontlines: Tech. Sgt. Steven Ruiz-Garcia

Robins Frontlines: Tech. Sgt. Steven Ruiz-Garcia


Tech. Sgt. Steven Ruiz-Garcia, 78th Operations Support Squadron air traffic controller, took the Air Force mantra of “service before self” to a whole new level with his actions in response to COVID-19.

“As the pandemic hit, Tech Sgt. Garcia immediately activated his family care plan to first ensure that his family was taken care of so he could focus on the mission,” said Lt. Col. Justin Rex, 78th OSS commander.

Garcia arranged for his two children, 10 and 5 years old, to be watched by his parents so he and his wife, Natalia Morales, could focus on helping others.

The non-commissioned officer, who also serves as the Training and Standardization NCO-in charge, remained focused on professionalism as he stepped up to effectively support and lead in air traffic functions ensuring that Robins can support the mission. He also demonstrated impeccable wingmanship assisting his fellow Airmen with their quarantine preparations and ensuring that the squadron and base needs were met.

In addition, Garcia developed a training regimen for new air traffic controllers that maximizes time used to maintain training requirements under social distancing constraints created as a result of the pandemic.

“During this crucial time, Tech. Sgt. Garcia’s efforts have kept Robins Airfield running and preparing others to follow his great example,” said Rex.