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BECO Airmen Track ADAB’s Computer Systems

  • Published
  • By MSgt Dan Heaton
  • 380th Air Expeditionary Wing

The four Airmen in the 380th Expeditionary Communications Squadron’s BECO flight are working with offices across Al Dhafra Air Base, managing more than 7,000 computer system assets, worth more than $19 million.

The Airmen, working in the Base Equipment Control Office work with the equipment custodians who manage the computer equipment from 96 different shops and offices around the base.

“The equipment custodians are the first line of accountability. We work with all 96 account custodians to ensure inventories are correct and, when necessary, to collect old or excess equipment and make sure it is repurposed or disposed of properly,” said Tech. Sgt. Colin Hileman, noncommissioned officer in charge of the BECO.

The current 4-person BECO team inherited a backlog of excess equipment that needed to be processed upon arrival in the fall. That backlog has since been eliminated.

“I have a team of rockstars,” said Master Sgt. Nathaniel Bartnick, the section chief. “The NCOs are hands on and the two Airmen have been eager to learn.”

Bartnick is deployed from Peterson Space Force Base in Colorado. Hileman and Airman 1st Class Hailey Gassett are both deployed from Scott Air Force Base in Illinois. Staff Sgt. Riley Obetz is from Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. Senior Airman Brandon Rose is from MacDill Air Force Base in Florida. Obetz is a member of the Air Force Reserve, the others are all active-duty Airmen.

“I’m really proud of the way this team came together, from multiple bases and very quickly began working together as a team,” Bartnick said.

As the junior member of the team, Gassett said she’s learned a lot in a short time.

All of the Airmen working in the BECO are Client Systems Technicians, which is the 3D1X1 Air Force Specialty Code, but BECO is just one of several shops within a Communications Squadron in which Airmen with that specialty code might work. For Gassett, the deployment to Al Dhafra is the first time she’s worked in BECO.

“There’s so much more going on in Comms than most people probably know,” said Gassett, a South Carolina native who has been in the Air Force for about two years. “I like learning all the different parts of it and seeing how it all comes together.”

One of the BECO’s primary responsibilities is seeing that excess equipment is handled properly. For small hard drives, that means feeding them into a shredder. Larger equipment is degaussed, a process that uses a powerful magnet to wipe the data from a disk and then it is fed into a shredder. For equipment that can be re-purposed, the BECO Airmen work with the Traffic Management Office to ship items to Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar for eventual use elsewhere.

“We have a lot of pieces of equipment, across the base or in transit. It is our job to be able to account for each piece and make sure the information on it is secure,” said Hileman.