NEWS | Aug. 2, 2017

1st CTCS Logistics Flight provide training, supplies and cyber systems support

By Staff Sgt. Andrea Salazar Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

In the past, members of the 1st Combat Camera Squadron Logistics Flight were trained and certified to provide maintenance for cameras operated by combat photojournalists and broadcasters in the unit. Over the years, the camera maintenance aspect of the flight’s responsibility has changed due to the nature and advanced technology of digital cameras. These maintenance Airmen have adapted and branched outside their comfort zone by providing additional support to combat camera Airmen.

The main responsibilities of the logistics flight include cyber systems, supply, tactical communications and weapons and tactics training. Flight members also receive ammo custodian training from the 437th Maintenance Group Munitions office to operate an armory and handle ammunition.

These Airmen have a backgrounds in cyber space support and logistics career fields. Upon arrival to this special duty they broaden their skillset through on-the-job training.

“Since there is no longer a formalized training when you get selected for this special duty, we participate on the basic operations of combat camera such as becoming familiar with camera equipment and necessary tactical gear being issued,” said Tech. Sgt. Samuel Weaver, 1st CTCS Weapons and Tactics Training NCOIC. “After that, we attend courses for armory and range safety operations so we can plan and coordinate advanced weapon and tactics training on top of basic qualification.”

The operational mission at Combat Camera is fast paced with a high-ops tempo. Beyond performing visual documentation, combat photojournalists and broadcasters need to be fully trained and qualified with weapons and tactics to operate in joint environments and real-world contingencies.

“Everything happening is training for the mission,” said Weaver. “Very few photojournalists and broadcasters here have additional time for planning and coordinating training since they are always participating in TDYs and deployments. We come in to help by providing and conducting the necessary weapons and tactics training they need so it is consistent and all members are adequately trained before they leave on a mission.”

With the help of the Logistics Flight, members at Combat Camera are able to receive not just training and cyber systems support, but also an internal supply section. The supply portion of the flight is responsible for purchasing current Air Force-approved camera equipment and tactical gear to issue to members of the squadron.

“We want our Airmen to have the most up-to-date equipment,” said Master Sgt. Karen Harris, 1st Combat Camera Squadron Logistics Flight chief. “The mission here is always busy. Our folks are constantly in and out, so we are the focal point for when they need equipment on short-notice taskers, it makes things faster, easier and efficient.”  

Another benefit to having an internal supply section is when members are downrange or out performing temporary duty missions, Harris is able to ship additional needed equipment rapidly without having to process the request through a large supply system.

These maintenance Airmen are challenged daily. Like most special duties in the military, members must constantly adapt to a changing environment. Combat Camera is no different.

“A big challenge for some of us is being open to change and adapting since this assignment is different from the usual base support aspect of our career field,” said Weaver. “I do like that being here provides new opportunities to expand not just your career skills but overall knowledge in the military.”