51st CBCS: Perfecting the art of global communication

  • Published
  • By Kisha Foster Johnson
  • 78th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Getting communications up and running, at home and abroad, is the number one priority for the 51st Combat Communications Squadron at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia.

These Airmen support the warfighter by providing a wide range of critical communication assets, such as phones, radios, internet and satellite services.  

“We go where nothing is established,” said Master Sgt. Andrew Pfluger, 51st CBCS Cyber Transport section chief. “We work off of generators and out of tents, and we have to install grounding systems that will allow us to build a reliable and stable command center.”

Pfluger said it takes ongoing practice for Airmen to reach and maintain an optimum level of efficiency to create a communications site.

The Agile Flag Radio and Satellite Communications teams along with the Mobility Guardian are participated in different and simultaneous training exercises to make sure their skills stay on point, April 19-23.

Pfluger served as site lead for the Mobility Guardian exercise, which also involves SATCOM.

“We have been given mobilization orders to support the Air Mobility Command exercise in Michigan. Every two years, AMC tests the readiness and resiliency of Airmen to perform a mass mobilization. We will be providing satellite terminals and radio antennas,” said Pfluger.

The Mobility Guardian’s goal is to make sure AMC has the ability to rapidly respond anywhere in the world in a matter of hours.

This is accomplished through four core AMC mission areas: air mobility support, airlift, air refueling and aeromedical evacuation.

Robins Airmen prepared seven pallets of equipment for the exercise scheduled for May.

“Our aircraft have to be able to talk to each other, talk to the people on the ground and they have to be able to talk to the commander at the end of the day,” said 1st Lt. Joshua Fairbanks, 51st CBCS Operations Support officer in charge. “I’m looking forward to working with the Airmen and getting out there to start supporting and effectively do what I raised my right hand to do.”

In addition to being first on location, having clear and steady lines of communication are just as important.

The Agile Flag Radio unit is focusing on ways to troubleshoot frequency issues in the field.

“We have a team in Savannah. They are going to set up several different configurations of antennas, check propagations, and see how the frequency travels back here to the installation,” said Senior Airman William Parrish Leigh, 51st CBCS Radio Frequency technician. “Simply put, we are going to be blasting frequencies until we can hear the other guy loud and clear. We specialize in long haul communications with high frequency. That’s normally what we practice. Figuring out the right configurations will help us have fewer problems when we are in the field.”

For these Airmen, it’s all about being ready when they have to answer the call to action.

“These cool missions are where I get to go out and support the warfighter and do combat communications the way it’s supposed to be done,” said Fairbanks.