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Command post: the backbone of AUAB

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Christopher Hubenthal
  • 379th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

Much like the all-seeing eye of Sauron in the “Lord of the Rings” cinematic trilogy, nothing that happens on Al Udeid escapes the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing’s command post.

From aircraft maintenance to security forces traffic incidents, the base command post is the focal point for information gathering and distribution across the installation.

“In a lot of ways, we're the spinal cord,” said Master Sgt. Kenneth Burrow, 379th AEW Command Post superintendent. “We may not be pushing fuel or dropping munitions, but we're ensuring that line of communication between the decision makers and the action agent is actually happening.”

While many Airmen rightfully associate installation command posts with the “giant voice” system or pop-up informational messages on computers, Burrow says the command post mission encompasses much more.

“All our host wing aircraft, like our refuelers, reconnaisance aircraft and some of our C-130s, when they're coming in, they're going to radio in to us to coordinate,” said Burrow. “We're going to notify their transportation, and the Air Terminal Operations Center for their cargo, but additionally we're going to get all of their maintenance information. In order for them to maintain that focus, we act as a bridge.”

When command post Airmen receive the maintenance requirements of incoming aircraft, they send the data to the base’s Maintenance Operations Center. By the time the aircraft parks, maintainers already know what needs to be attended to.

Tech. Sgt. Edward Lauer, 379th AEW Command Post NCO in charge of command and control operations, said he gains satisfaction from a job well done, even if it goes unseen by a majority of people.

“We know we're getting the mission done,” he said. “You might not know who we are behind the scenes, you might not understand it was us that was doing it, but I don't need to let you know I did it. I can walk out the door, be happy, go to my room, sleep, and do it all again the next day.”

Senior Airman Anelle Orrell, 379th AEW command post controller, said she embraces the high level of responsibility that comes with being a command post controller, even at the junior enlisted level.

“The most rewarding part is being a Senior Airman and knowing the responsibility that the command post holds is on my shoulders,” she said. “Having the opportunity to call the wing commander, type up his reports and send that to higher headquarters with my name on it … I think that's really rewarding. It makes me feel like I'm a part of the bigger mission.”