Virtual battlefield: COMM key to wing effectiveness

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Ethan Spickler
  • 445th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

With the relatively recent advances seen in information technology, it is becoming more important to have access to the most up-to-date and secure information systems, especially within the framework of the Air Force mission.

At the 445th Airlift Wing, there are Airmen who work around the clock to maintain the integrity and security of our internal communications systems while providing us with the means to achieve our mission objectives.

Operating under the 445th Force Support Squadron, the communications element is tasked with the maintenance and proliferation of information technology across the wing. They operate within an environment that constantly evolves, demanding the utmost attention to detail and constant vigilance in order to maintain the wing’s steady workflow.

There are several elements within the communications section, working together to achieve their objectives and allowing us to achieve ours.

Client systems technicians are the boots on the ground of the communications mission, maintaining equipment, troubleshooting systems and ensuring that members from around the wing have access to the technology they rely on to excel.

“We handle customer support and connectivity issues within our local information systems,” said Airman 1st Class Williams Amo Ampomah, a client systems technician with the communications element. “Day in, day out, we have to make sure that members from around the wing have access to their communications tools. That is what makes us paramount to mission effectiveness.”

Working in the same realm as the client systems technicians are the knowledge managers. Their role is to act as a conduit to preserve and use knowledge, turning data into usable information that benefits Airmen at every level.

“Our job is to manage the spread of information throughout the wing,” said Master Sgt. Leah Smith, a knowledge management team lead. “Our job is extremely important to the access of crucial information at every level.”

Knowledge managers make sure that the information used is accurate and improves our ability to operate effectively in a secure network environment.

“We make sure our Airmen are educated about internal security threats through training and sharing the importance of security as it relates to data,” said Smith. “What we do in communications is a lot of work, but it’s rewarding to see how our work positively affects the readiness and effectiveness of the wing.”

The communications element works behind the scenes troubleshooting technological assets, providing support for other wing elements and making it possible for Airmen to operate effectively in an evolving cybersecurity environment that is sometimes difficult to navigate.

“Our role in managing cybersecurity within the wing network has a huge impact on the wing mission,” said Senior Master Sgt. Ashley Delacruz, the cyberspace support superintendent. “We have the ability to address threats on the local level by maintaining the integrity of our personnel and their access to information systems. As a group, we are responsible for maintaining nearly 4,000 electronic assets, and as far as the military work environment goes, you cannot do your job without the technology that we maintain. We make communication happen.”