Combat Communication Squadrons from all over the U.S. Air Force participate in Operation Allies Refuge while maintaining communication capabilities through Ramstein Air Base, since the beginning of the operation.
Airmen from the 291st, 292nd and 147th CBCS have been on a temporary duty assignment to Ramstein since April.
Originally sent here to provide aid to Ramstein’s 1st Combat Communications Squadron, the Airmen are now assisting both Operation Allies Refuge and the 1st CBCS.
“My initial role for this TDY was to support the 1st Combat Communications Squadron with the European Deterrence Initiative,” said Tech Sgt. Nestor Chaco, Hilo Air National Guard Communications Station’s 291st CBCS cyber systems technician and OAR augmentee. “We would set up equipment that provides communication through NIPR, SIPR, voice, radios, and power if needed. Now, I assist with trash, crowd control, food services and issuing things like blankets, clothing, shoes, footwear and a lot of baby items.”
Providing methods of communication and air traffic control services throughout Europe, Africa, and the Middle East is something made possible by Combat Communication Squadrons for the Air Force.
“Combat communications is vital to all Air Force communications,” Chaco said. “Without the ability to communicate, no one has any knowledge of operations and individuals are left unknowing.”
Not only do Combat Communications Airmen communicate with Airmen from their career field, they also communicate and work with different branches throughout NATO.
“We’ve been working with the Croatian military, the Icelandic Coast Guard, and the German military,” Chaco said. “Working with our national counterparts shows we have a strong partnership and are prepared for any mission at any time regardless of the location.”
In addition to providing communication, TDY combat communications Airmen are supporting Operation Allies Refuge, 24/7 to ensure evacuees and local Airmen are cared for.
“It’s not always pretty work, cleaning up after people, organizing food, getting people lined up who don’t speak the same language as you and trying to find people in a crowd of 3,000,” Master Sgt. Richard Pacheco, 1st CBCS cyber systems operations craftsman and senior enlisted leader for Pod three, said. “But you’re also able to see your impact, you can see how the things you do affect those on the receiving end.”
Whether it be providing communication world-wide to the U.S. Air Force and their DOD and NATO counterparts, or providing aid to OAR, combat communications Airmen are prepared to respond globally to anything, at any time.