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Total Force Integration through communication

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Anthony Nin Leclerec
  • 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 178th Wing Communications Flight, Ohio Air National Guard, came to Tyndall Air Force Base to assist the 325th Communications Squadron with restoring vital base communications infrastructure and services from June 3-20, 2019.

“This was a truly unique opportunity for our Airmen to come together and demonstrate Total Force Integration by giving and receiving On-the-Job Training across all facets of the communications spectrum,” said Maj. James Johnson, 325th Communications Squadron commander. “Their presence will be felt for years to come and help Tyndall build the ‘Base of the Future’—it’s a beautiful thing.”

While at Tyndall, the 178th CF helped restore the emergency mass notification system coverage (giant voice) and completed premise wire installation of over 300 cables (about 8,000 feet) and connections, testing them to restore communication infrastructure in the Weapons Evaluation Group Headquarters.

The installation will allow the WEG to host a Checkered Flag exercise later this year with full communications availability for the first time since the Hurricane Michael.

“In addition to that, my team was getting applicable, real world, Air Force Specialty Code skill level training,” said Lt. Col. Douglas VanBuren 178th Wing Communications Flight commander. “It’s training that extends beyond the text book and often reaches outside their AFSC. They were getting real world experience and training in communications systems disaster recovery, sustainment, and restoration—this kind of training is priceless.”

The team installed wire and data switch drops to eliminate commercial wireless hot spots in the Air Force Civil Engineer Center thereby granting the availability to use the Air Force Network for the first time since the hurricane.

According to Tech. Sgt. Tiffaney Proud and Staff Sgt. Josiah Watson, 178th CF, it was an opportunity to help their fellow Airmen and grow their skillsets while assisting with projects outside of their career fields.

The 178th CF also assisted with trouble ticket process completion, devising standard operational procedures to help streamline processes, and additional communications projects around base.

“The 325th Communications Squadron is facing some significant challenges in their efforts to restore and sustain communications systems and services to their customers,” VanBuren said. “It has been quite impressive to hear what they were initially up against and see how far they have come since the aftermath of the hurricane. What we were able to accomplish over three weeks seems big to us, but it’s really, really small when you step back and look at the true scope and scale of what the communication squadron is up against, and the whole base for that matter.”