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Communications Squadron: Training, perfecting, improving

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Nathan Simmons, left, and Staff Sgt. Josiah Schmidt, both Radio Frequency Transmission supervisors assigned to the 509th Communications Squadron (CS), raise an antenna during the Bomber Strategic Aircraft Recovery Team training at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., Aug. 30, 2017. The Radio Frequency Transmission Systems Team of the 509th CS performs this training monthly. When activated, they are able to provide full communication to four simultaneous locations around the world.

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Kathleen Cummins, a Radio Frequency Transmission Systems technician assigned to the 509th Communications Squadron (CS), sets up equipment for Bomber Strategic Aircraft Recovery Team training, at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., Aug. 30, 2017. The 509th CS performs this training once a month to stay prepared if they should be activated. They are able to provide full communication to four simultaneous locations around the world with this equipment.

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Jeffrey McGee, a Radio Frequency Transmission Systems technician assigned to the 509th Communications Squadron (CS), attaches radiating elements to an antenna during the Bomber Strategic Aircraft Recovery Team training at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., Aug. 30, 2017. McGee is a member of the Radio Frequency Transmission Systems Team of CS, who perform this training monthly. With the equipment they are able to provide full communication to four simultaneous locations around the world.

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Jeffrey McGee, a Radio Frequency Transmission Systems technician assigned to the 509th Communications Squadron, attaches radiating elements to an antenna during the monthly Bomber Strategic Aircraft Recovery Team training at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., Aug. 30, 2017. When activated, they are able to provide full communication to four simultaneous locations around the world.

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. -- Training, it’s what most sports team do to prepare for a competition. How a team practices affects how a team will perform when it’s game time. The Airmen at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri regularly train in order to perform to the best of their abilities. It is critical that every member of Team Whiteman is prepared for anything that could happen and knows how to act accordingly.

The Radio Frequency Transmission Systems team of the 509th Communications Squadron (CS) conducted their monthly Bomber Strategic Aircraft Recovery Team (B-SART) training Aug. 30, 2017, at Whiteman.

“We make up the communications portion of the B-SART package,” said U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Derek Tanner, the NCO in charge of the Radio Frequency Transmission Systems assigned to the 509th CS. “Should we be activated, we are able to provide full communications to four simultaneous locations around the world.”

During this month’s training, Airmen set up metal poles with multiple ropes and lines in order to hoist antennas in the air. The antennas are used for ground-to-ground and ground-to-air communications.

“This training is important because communications are the backbone of the mission,” said Tanner. “Communications are essential to mission planning, mission execution and conducting daily operations. Not having the capability to communicate would create a significant obstacle to mission completion.”

Every career in the Air Force is essential to completing the mission of ‘fly, fight and win - in air, space and cyberspace.’ The training that every single Airman does is critical in order to stay focused on the mission. The 509th CS conducts the B-SART training every month and looks for ways in which it can be improved.

"We train to ensure we can set up and operate this equipment in the fastest and most efficient way possible,” said Airman 1st Class Kathleen Cummins, a Radio Frequency Transmission Systems technician assigned to the 509th CS. “If something goes wrong, either down range or here at home, people are depending on us and our equipment. In a crazy situation, how quickly we can establish communications is literally life or death. It's that radio call asking for medical aid, a distress signal or the voice telling the aircraft where to strike. We have a saying here in our squadron, 'No Comm, No Bomb'."