CSS keeps Team Whiteman communicating

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Nick Wilson
  • 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
The Air Force's mission will fail without good communication up and down the chain of command. A unit's work can come to a grinding halt when access to an essential communications system is lost.

The skilled professionals from the 509th Communications Squadron's Communications Support Section provide communication problem solving services to customers with on base. These Airmen ensure mission critical technology systems all over the base are maintained and updated, ensuring members of Team Whiteman continue to fly, fight and win.

"Without us no one would be able to communicate through our network or telephones," said Senior Airman Wesley Snider, 509th CS client services technician.

As technology increases, so does the Air Force's need to keep that technology updated. The communications support center keeps networks safe with firewalls, network anti-virus and security updates that are routinely monitored and updated.

"For example, in the command post there's an entire section of equipment we maintain," said Staff Sgt. Justin Guyor, 509th Communications Focal Point assistant NCO in charge. "It's absolutely key we keep those systems up and running, especially during exercises.

Senior leadership needs to discuss major plans and communicate essential information to members on base."

When it comes to maintaining equipment, the team handles a variety of network communications maintenance issues ranging from security cameras to glide scopes and aircraft lighting systems, to computer and telephone network issues.

"We are kind of like emergency medical technicians for the network," Guyor said. "That's kind of the function we fill with network resources."

If there are connectivity problems, the section sends out technicians with commercial certifications to the site for troubleshooting. If the issue can't be fixed onsite, the technician stake the equipment back to the shop for more in-depth analysis and diagnostics.

"There are a lot of small things a technician is able to see when they are on-site that the customer might not be able to pick up on," Guyor said. "Or if somebody locks themselves out of a computer completely, we have tools to get in and take control of the system."

Due to the growing number of unpredictable issues that can take place with modern networks and computer technology, there's never a set way to repair each problem.

"There's no set technical orders or way to fix a specific issue for a computer," Snider said. "So when something breaks, let's say Outlook breaks, there's a million ways to fix Outlook and there's a million ways to fix each program in Outlook."

Even when two customers have identical issues, there can be two different sets of procedures that fix each issue, according to Guyor.

"Computer technology is just flying out right now," Guyor said. "One of the most difficult parts of our job is that technology is changing almost faster than the Air Force policies can keep up with it."

In summary, when it comes to the Air Force Global Strike Command's mission, vision and values, the 509th CS communications support technicians provide support to all of Whiteman Air Force Base's communications systems, thus supporting global strike operations and keeping the mission safe, secure and effective.