Communication Focal Point - Keeping Whiteman connected

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo., - Staff Sgt. Carl Smith, 509th Communications Squadron, inspects the main network lines exiting the communication focal point, for wear and tear, Dec. 1. The communication focal point provides customers on base a one-stop shop, servicing phone and network servers, base-wide.  (U.S. Air Force Photo/Airman 1st Class Carlin Leslie)(released)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo., - Staff Sgt. Carl Smith, 509th Communications Squadron, inspects the main network lines exiting the communication focal point, for wear and tear, Dec. 1. The communication focal point provides customers on base a one-stop shop, servicing phone and network servers, base-wide. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Airman 1st Class Carlin Leslie)(released)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo., - Airman First Class Scott Erway, 509th Communication Squadron, runs a system check on a network server to find which system component had failed, Dec. 1. The communication focal point provides customers on base a one-stop shop, servicing phone and network servers, base-wide.  (U.S. Air Force Photo/Airman 1st Class Carlin Leslie)(released)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo., - Airman First Class Scott Erway, 509th Communication Squadron, runs a system check on a network server to find which system component had failed, Dec. 1. The communication focal point provides customers on base a one-stop shop, servicing phone and network servers, base-wide. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Airman 1st Class Carlin Leslie)(released)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo., - Staff Sgt. Carl Smith, 509th Communication Squadron, pushes wires back into one of the main network lines that branches out to connect the base, Dec. 1. The communication focal point provides customers on base a one-stop shop, servicing phone and network servers, base-wide.  (U.S. Air Force Photo/Airman 1st Class Carlin Leslie)(released)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo., - Staff Sgt. Carl Smith, 509th Communication Squadron, pushes wires back into one of the main network lines that branches out to connect the base, Dec. 1. The communication focal point provides customers on base a one-stop shop, servicing phone and network servers, base-wide. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Airman 1st Class Carlin Leslie)(released)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. – Amy Jenkins, a base operator, responds to an incoming call, Nov. 20. The base operators direct hundreds of calls each day for Whiteman Air Force Base. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Senior Airman Cory Todd) (Released)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. – Amy Jenkins, a base operator, responds to an incoming call, Nov. 20. The base operators direct hundreds of calls each day for Whiteman Air Force Base. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Senior Airman Cory Todd) (Released)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. – Staff Sgt. Nakia Daniel, 509th Communications Squadron commercial communication quality assurance evaluator, checks a phone line Nov. 20. Sergeant Daniel frequently checks the phone lines to make sure the function properly for the base. (U.S. Air Force Photo/ Senior Airman Cory Todd) (Released)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. – Staff Sgt. Nakia Daniel, 509th Communications Squadron commercial communication quality assurance evaluator, checks a phone line Nov. 20. Sergeant Daniel frequently checks the phone lines to make sure the function properly for the base. (U.S. Air Force Photo/ Senior Airman Cory Todd) (Released)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. -- Making up 75 percent of the 509th Communication Squadron, the members of the Communications Operations Flight, or CSO, help keep Whiteman connected.

The team of more than 100 personnel is responsible for the Communication Focal Point, the centralized customer service center specifically designed to facilitate base communication needs.

The CFP provides customers a one-stop service operation for both airfield needs and the base computer network, here.

"If you are talking on the phone or working on the computer, you are dealing with the network," said Master Sgt. Shane Hagemeier, 509th CS superintendent of network communication. "We do everything from maintenance network administration to technical control and infrastructure."

Whiteman's high operations tempo translates into a great deal of maintenance work, according to Sergeant Hagemeier.

"The base is constantly using more memory, and continues to take on more projects and load material," he said. "We have to keep up with the needs of the base. When you think about it every person on Whiteman trying to access the internet has to connect to the get on the file server."

The network area is kept clean, dust free and at a cool temperature to ensure the network operates efficiently. In addition to keeping the network physically clean, the 509th CS members perform other types of "cleaning" to keep the network running smoothly.

"We constantly keep computers updated as part of network defense, so computers don't become exploited," said Sergeant Hagemeier.

CFP is also responsible for infrastructure, such as the telephone networks and the cables that connect them. The flight performs regular upkeep maintaining telephone communication access.

"We also manage all personal wireless communication, cell phone contracts, and our own paging system," said Senior Airman Walter Heidelberger, 509th CS Base Personal Wireless Communications Systems Manager.

During the recent operational readiness inspection and nuclear operational readiness inspection, the PWCS flight provided and programmed all the radios for both the 509th BW and the 442nd Fighter Wing, flightline workers, as well as IG inspectors, Airman Heidelberger said. Without this office, none of that communication would have been possible.

One of the newest communication commodities made available to the base with the help of the 509th CS is the Office Communicator client, which is a instant messaging program, deployed to all workstations on base Nov. 21.

"With the addition of Microsoft OC, we can take advantage of instant messaging, integration with Microsoft Exchange," said Senior Airman Nathan Kanuchok. "This software provides a multitude of potential uses to coordinate better communication."

The 509th CS is always working to improve, update and keep communication flowing, for more information on Microsoft OC contact CFP at (660) 687-2666.