The 1st Air and Space Communications Operations Squadron at Ramstein Air Base, celebrated its 60th anniversary June 30.
The squadron commemorated the anniversary with remarks from the current 1 ACOS commander, Lt. Col. Jessica “Hulk” Haugland, various team competition events, a luncheon and guest speaker remarks from one of the unit’s previous commanders, Col. Raymond Spohr.
“Sixty years of first class service, that’s what this unit’s provided,” Haugland said. “In 1962, we stood up at the 2063rd Communications Squadron down the road at Lindsey (Air Station), and from that point on this unit has received multiple accolades and has done a lot of great collaboration with our allies.”
When first activated as the 2063 CS in July 1962 at Lindsey AS, Wiesbaden, the squadron was assigned to the European Communications Area. The unit provided secure communications support to commanders across NATO’s large geographical scope for 31 years, until it was inactivated in June 1993 as part of the larger post-Cold War forces drawdown.
In May 2003, the squadron was re-designated as the 1 ACOS and activated once again at Ramstein AB. Since then, the Airmen of 1 ACOS have continued to drive its mission forward, managing secure communications that enable commanders to quickly and efficiently distribute critical information within the U.S. Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa, Global Strike and U.S. Air Forces Central Command theater of operations.
“I’ve worked in the squadron for almost three years, in the global command and control system,” said Senior Airman Allison Pecaut, 1 ACOS Collateral Systems Administrator. “What we do here, we won’t ever do again in our careers. It’s a specialized assignment because we are on the cutting edge of developing innovative new technologies and procedures within GCCS across the Air Force.”
GCCS is one of five sections within the 1 ACOS. Combined with the other sections of infrastructure, joint worldwide intelligence communications systems, security and the theater network operations center, the squadron delivers, operates and defends theater intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and command and control capabilities.
“Working in the security section, we ensure 1 ACOS members and mission partners have access to the systems they need,” said Airman 1st Class Marcus Greene, 1 ACOS Cyber Security Technician. “We actively monitor and mitigate any vulnerabilities discovered in the network as managers. We help manage the verification systems and ensure that the personnel are trained and cleared to do their job as quickly as possible. We’re the gatekeeper assuring the right people are in the right position to support the ISR mission.”
Delivering on the 1 ACOS slogan “The Best Done Better,” the unit has earned multiple decorations throughout its history, including a Navy Meritorious Unit Citation for its critical support to the Apollo Manned Space Flight program.
“Heritage is important to understand from the Air Force perspective,” Spohr remarked. “You’ve got to understand where you came from, so you can get to where you want to go. In the last decade, the squadron has continued to build on its proud tradition of providing premier and enduring communications for USAFE – AFAFRICA. It is absolutely phenomenal to be in this unit, and you as Airmen, whether it’s in active duty or civilian contractor, you all make it happen.”
The 1 ACOS Airmen celebrated their squadron’s rich history and many achievements with a day of team-building and morale events, culminating in a chance to plunge their commander into the icy waters of a dunk tank.
“I hope today as you compete, defeat and challenge yourselves, you think about where we come from because that’s what today is about,” Haugland said. “Today is about reflecting back on 60 years of amazing service.”