From the Frontlines: Staff Sgt. Lukas Bartels

  • Published
  • By Heidi Hunt
  • 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
Chaplain assistants may only be a small team in deployed locations, but they can make substantial impacts in Airmen's lives.

Staff Sgt. Lukas Bartels, 509th Bomb Wing chaplain assistant, is one such dynamic leader.

Bartels recently returned from his six-month deployment to Al-Dhafra Air Base in the United Arab Emirates, where he performed Sunday services and weekly set-ups, conducted visitations and assisted in various unit ministries.

"The importance of my mission was to ensure Service members were spiritually fit to fight," said Bartels. "I made sure people were able to focus on the mission, because being in a deployed location can be a stressful environment."

Bartels accomplished his mission through religious observances, providing pastoral care and advising leadership on spiritual, ethical, moral, morale, core values and religious accommodation issues.

Bartels also prepared for many weekday and weekend services including Mass and Protestant services.

Although Bartels' deployed duties were not entirely different from his duties at Whiteman, he did serve more than simply Air Force members.

"I did more unit visitations during my deployment," Bartels added. "We were in a joint-force environment, which means there were U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force. Many of the Army members had already been there a year and appreciated when we visited."

When Bartels was not working he filled his time volunteering with the 5/6 Council, planning morale-boosting events and helping prepare games for military members.

Combined with his volunteer efforts and work ethos, Bartels is valued among his peers and colleagues.

"Sergeant Bartels is truly a superior performer at home station and during deployments," said Tech. Sgt. Matthew Ruggiero, 509th BW NCOIC of chapel operations. "His positive attitude and strong work ethic ensure a welcoming and supportive chapel environment for both customers and staff alike."

Overall, Bartels enjoyed his time and is fortunate to work with positive people. At Whiteman, he is surrounded by a positive, uplifting chapel community.

"One benefit of my job is that I am able to get out and meet community members, hear their stories and really get to know someone," Bartels said. "Part of my job is building relationships and I find that really cool."