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380AEW Article

Keeping communication channels open

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Marie Brown
  • U.S. Air Forces Central Command Public Affairs
Imagine, for a moment, that you have no wi-fi, no hardline telephone or internet access, no way to electronically communicate with anyone. How long would it take before you begin to panic?

Airmen of the Expeditionary Communication Squadron client service technician shop are instrumental in keeping these communication channels open to ensure mission accomplishment.

“Our mission here is to provide communication support all around base,” said Tech. Sgt. Glenn, client service technician NCO in-charge. “If there are wires connected to it, we are responsible for it.”

The CST shop is broken down into telephone, operations and local sections.

“The telephone section supports all the telephones on base that are not voice over internet protocol telephones,” said Glenn. “The operations section provides all the computer support for the flightline area, and the local section provides computer support for the main base.”

Client service technicians in the telephone section maintain over 2,000 telephones on base.

“I work on phones and phone lines, repairing the connections from the switch to the customer,” said Senior Airman Christopher, client service technician. “I make sure customers can communicate via telephone lines amongst each other.”

The most well-known role of the CST shop is fixing computer issues ranging from locked accounts to software issues.

“I ensure computers work, are usable, not slow and are connected to the network,” said Airman 1st Class Maury, client service technician, currently deployed from Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. “I make sure the user can log onto their computer to complete their daily tasks.”

Computers are needed to track everything from fuel and mileage to missions, added Glenn.

“Without computers aircraft don’t take off,” said Glenn. “So, no comm, no bombs.”

These Airmen have kept the communication channels on air since their arrival.

“During our rotation we have worked approximately 2,200 tickets,” said Glenn, currently deployed from Langley Air Force Base, Va. “We are also currently assisting up to 150 customers a day with new account requests in addition to handling computer and telephone issues.”

The CST shop’s support has also extended to include the Royal Australian Air Force.

“We were able to integrate the Australian personnel under our network,” added Glenn. “We provided both telephone and computer support. We were able to add them on to our network and get them going.”

Not having the Airmen of CST here to help ensure communication flows smoothly can put a hindrance on the mission.

“Communicating would become more difficult,” said Christopher, currently deployed from Mountain Home AFB, Idaho. “You would not be able to just sit at your desk and call someone or send an e-mail. It would come down to having to do face-to-face communication, which takes you away from completing your own daily tasks.”

The Airmen of CST continue to remain positive with a can-do attitude while doing the best they can to keeping communication flowing.

“Every member of my team has been the driving force behind what has made this a great deployment and a great shop to work in,” said Glenn. “We are happy to be here to provide this essential service to the warfighter to take care of the mission. We are considered by many the eyes of the Communication Squadron. We are the first ones and often times the only ones people see.”

(Editor’s note: Due to safety and security reasons, last names and unit designators were removed.)