Comm team supports exercise in Bulgaria

1st Lt. Ken Malloy
1st CBCS

***image1***It’s no secret that having the ability to communicate is an essential element to accomplish day-to-day operations at home. The same rule applies during deployment, and members of the 1st Combat Communications Squadron showcased a variety of robust communication capabilities during a recent exercise in Bulgaria.

A small handpicked team from the 1st Combat Communications Squadron provided critical connectivity in Bulgaria in support of Exercise THRACIAN SPRING 2007, an off-station training exercise with an overarching objective to enhance EUCOM’s ongoing theater security cooperation initiative. While deployed, the detachment helped conduct C-130 tactical training.

“This exercise provided 1st CBCS with a great opportunity to showcase its wide range of rapidly deployable communications capabilities,” said Staff Sgt. Rafael Meneses, deployed crew chief. “Our team was able to provide secure voice, DSN, secure video teleconferencing, NIPR, SIPR, land mobile radio and air-to-ground radio assets which enabled the deployed commander with command and control over the Bulgarian airspace.”

Made up of only seven members, the deployed team was designed to have a small “footprint” at the deployed location, but was able to handle the huge responsibility of enabling the operations commander to stay in contact with the home station. Senior Airman Brent Showalter, for example, as the sole radio technician on the team, established connectivity between the control tower and the C-130 pilots in the air.

“Since we all have separate career fields, we rely heavily on our ability to work as a team,” said Airman Showalter. “We all must rely on one another and be able to back up each other to ensure the operation is successful.”