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NEWS | Oct. 10, 2012

JB Charleston Command Post keep base informed

By Airman 1st Class George Goslin Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

One group of professionals work in the center of action at Joint Base Charleston - Air Base and they are essential in making sure base operations run smoothly and effectively - the 628th Air Base Wing Command Post section.

The Command Post is the primary focal point for Force Protection Condition changes, weather warning notifications, base recalls or emergency management communications. Emergency action controllers man the command post every hour of the day, every day of the week, all year long, including holidays.

Each base Command Post is tailored to the mission of their base and the mission of that base's Major Command. Specific job duties will differ between bases.

"At JB Charleston, from day to day, we are mostly doing flying operations," said Staff Sgt. Lynette Ras, 628th CP senior emergency action controller. "We are a liaison and coordinator for all facets of the mission, from pre, during and post flight. Anything the pilots need, we can facilitate and coordinate for them, such as fuel or documents."

The mission of the command post may vary from base to base, but the primary mission is always the same - disseminating time critical information to the base personnel who need it.

"We can receive information from the headquarters level or from specific units about a particular situation and in turn, we distribute that information to other emergency actions responders," said Ras.

The Command Post acts as a hub of information for emergency responders to keep all units informed and to give commanders up-to-date information to make critical decisions.

"Our entire job is checklist-driven" said Ras. "Nothing is completely black and white. It's just problem solving. We receive calls where we may not have all the information we need, but we follow checklists to make sure the information is distributed correctly."

The controllers must go through extensive training to maintain their qualifications which include a monthly-emergency actions test where controllers are required to score above 90 percent to stay certified. The test information must be memorized so the controllers are able to respond quickly to any given scenario. Only the base commander can certify each controller.

"We are the commander's point of contact," said Ras. "We go through the monthly scenario evaluation to ensure that we're proficient and current. He needs to know that we know how to do our job."

The controllers are trained on the basics of their profession at Command Post tech school, but receive most of their training on the job at their base or command.

"It's a true testament to the skill and professionalism of these Airmen when the commander puts that level of trust into our youngest, day in and day out with that level of experience" said Maj. Reid Wynans, 628th CP chief. "We treat information as a commodity so that we can disseminate it for the benefit of the commanders."