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Comm. Airmen ensure mission never stops

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Airman 1st Class Benjamin Gonsier

2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs

 

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE — For base leadership, information technology errors and malfunctions may have dire effects on the mission.

When a senior leader has issues with their technology, Airmen from the 2nd Communications Squadron executive communications flight are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to repair and troubleshoot any faulty IT.

“We are a small hand-picked flight, chosen to assist the senior leaders with their information technology needs,” said Staff Sgt. Stepheno Pomerlee, 2nd CS exec. comm. “Our senior leaders do not have the time to submit a ticket. If one of our senior leaders or their staff has an issue, it needs to be resolved right away.”

Exec. comm. Airmen are chosen by their leadership and are interviewed for the job.

“These Airmen may have to brief a 2-star general at any moment, so they need to know their job well,” Pomerlee said. “They cannot be nervous and must be confident, which is why we have an interview process.”

Exec. comm. has 11 assigned Airmen, including deployed Airmen, and supports laptops, tablets, phones, desktop computer malfunctions and e-mail issues for more than 170 senior leaders and their staff, from Air Force Global Strike Command, 8th Air Force and the 2nd and 307th Bomb Wing.

“We have exec. comm. on our speed dial just in case anything goes down,” said Maj. Jon Lee, 2nd BW executive officer to the commander. “They immediately spring into action to give us the answers to any questions we or our commanders might have.”

With IT a part of commanders’ daily lives, information loss from e-mails and other IT can impact Barksdale’s mission. Exec. comm. works with commanders’ executive officers to limit a malfunction’s mission impact.

When the commanders have any problems related to IT, they tell their executive officers who will work with exec. comm. to fix it. Those issues range from Non-classified Internet Protocol Router Network and Secret Internet Protocol Router Network access to Microsoft Outlook and other computer program malfunctions.

“The commander needs to receive as much information as possible,” Lee said. “We receive information from different electronic media, and it impacts the mission if any malfunction.”

Other than senior leaders stationed here, certain distinguished visitors also receive exec. comm. support.

“If they plan on using IT during their visit, we take all of the necessary precautions to ensure they have no issues,” Pomerlee said. “This includes going to their lodging before they visit to verify their SIPRNet, SIPR phones and commercial wireless connection are working.”

Exec. comm. exists because not many bases have the amount of traffic Barksdale does, Pomerlee added.

“It’s very unrealistic to put in a trouble ticket for the myriad of IT problems that may pop up,” Lee said. “With the constant flow of information and the decisions that need to be made, exec. comm. ensures our commanders receive critical information and decisions are made on time.”