By Capt. Anna-Marie Wyant, 455th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
/ Published March 20, 2019
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan --
The Air Force’s only communications unit in Afghanistan, which services military installations in Bagram, Kandahar, Jalalabad and Kabul, recently received a prestigious award for their efforts over the last year.
The 455th Expeditionary Communications Squadron at Bagram Airfield won the Lieutenant General Harold W. Grant Small Unit of the Year Award for 2018. The unit competed against communications squadrons across the Air Force for this title specifically designated for units with fewer than 125 Airmen.
“This award is exciting, but what really gets me fired up is the Airmen and the people that make the mission happen,” said Lt. Col. Nathan Osborne, 455th ECS commander. “This unit knows that we didn’t get here by ourselves. We’re standing on the shoulders of people who came here before us.”
The 455th ECS’s accomplishments include effectively reducing close air support response times by integrating networked high-fidelity imagery systems to all F-16s and A-10s in Afghanistan, enabling munitions on target in seconds versus minutes. They also engineered and implemented seven counter rocket, artillery, and mortar systems at Kandahar Airfield, defending 5,100 acres of assets and operations. Additionally, the squadron established network feeds for the U.S. Army to deliver intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities with the Scan Eagle Unmanned Aerial Vehicle nearly eight months ahead of schedule.
“We are about connecting people, whether that means we have to work on fiber optics between buildings, or in a dusty communications closet in some corner of Bagram,” Osborne said. “We live in an information age, and that connectivity matters more and more each day.”
The 455th ECS provides combat support through cyberspace in support of Operations Freedom’s Sentinel and the NATO Resolute Support Mission. They provide exceptional expeditionary communications to sustain combat airpower, enabling wing command and control, air tasking order execution and base defense. They deliver rapid, precise and unrivaled communications.