Mobile tower provides home-station training

by Staff Sgt. Jacob C. Shonkwiler
1st Combat Communications Squadron

***image1***The 1st Combat Communications Squadron’s Airfield Systems Flight is at it again. Training is how the Air Force gets the mission done, and it is how it takes a 22-person team and turns them into professional combat maintenance technicians. The team deploys at a moment’s notice to set up bare base air traffic control and landing systems throughout Europe, Africa, Central Asia and the Middle East. This is why the training accomplished at the home station is so important.

The mobile air traffic control tower is one of 1st CBCS’s main systems. This piece of equipment follows our squadron’s motto: “First In, Last Out!”  This mobile tower will be there to land the first plane and will be there to see off the last plane during a deployment. 

 Recently during a squadron exercise, 1st CBCS sent out the mobile tower and had the opportunity to train on the system in real-world conditions. A four-person team was sent out in place of the required nine-person team that it takes to deploy this system. These four technicians were able to perform in-depth training on the system that is impossible to complete without being in field conditions.

The team achieved full system qualification of more than 200 training tasks within the first 48 hours of being in the field. Normally, this would have taken up to 90 days. By doing this, the team completed the exercise mission eight days ahead of schedule.

Due to the swift training that the team completed within the first two days, they were able to rotate an additional 13 technicians from the shop into the field and train on the mobile tower.

The result from the 10 days in the field with the mobile tower was that the work center fully qualified 17 technicians on the mobile tower and completed 850 shop-training tasks. These 10 days in the field yield the results that should have taken 18 months to complete.

The airfield systems flight is always giving 110 percent to its missions and training. The outcome of this flight’s accomplishments in training are demonstrated on every mission 1st CBCS deploys for. For instance, while the Ramstein Air Traffic Control Tower was being remodeled, it was the mobile tower that was used to direct all inbound and outbound air traffic for the base, having a direct impact on all personnel and cargo heading downrange to support operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.