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Schriever Sentinel

Airmen participate in exchange program

2nd Lt. Mayo Coiner, 4th Space Operations Squadron mobile operations unit, explains to 2nd Lt. Chase Bowen, 54th Combat Communications Squadron officer in-charge of cyber operations, Robbins Air Force Base, Ga. and Staff Sgt. Ray Lena, 34th Combat Communications Squadron, Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., about Schriever’s “golf balls” here Feb. 11. This series of low profile antennas, more commonly called “golf balls,” protects the antenna and are spherical to be able to rotate a full 359 degrees in order for 4 SOPS to be able to communicate with the MILSTAR satellite constellation anywhere in its orbit. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Erica Picariello)

2nd Lt. Mayo Coiner, 4th Space Operations Squadron mobile operations unit, explains to 2nd Lt. Chase Bowen, 54th Combat Communications Squadron officer in-charge of cyber operations, Robbins Air Force Base, Ga. and Staff Sgt. Ray Lena, 34th Combat Communications Squadron, Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., about Schriever’s “golf balls” here Feb. 11. This series of low profile antennas, more commonly called “golf balls,” protects the antenna and are spherical to be able to rotate a full 359 degrees in order for 4 SOPS to be able to communicate with the MILSTAR satellite constellation anywhere in its orbit. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Erica Picariello)

By Staff Sergeant Erica Picariello

50th Space Wing Public Affairs

Team Schriever members hosted four 689th Combat Communications Wing Airmen for a synergistic exchange of ideas from Feb. 7 to Feb. 11.

The combat communicators first participated in this exchange program last October when they joined the 4th Space Operations Squadron’s mobile operations units’ tactical training.

“The exchange requires the 689 CCW, at least semi-annually, to send members to participate in 4 SOPS’ Jack’s Valley training exercises and we in turn send wing members to attend their Combat Skills Training,” said Capt. John Galer, 50 SW commander’s action group and exchange program coordinator. “Both sets of participants have similar tactical roles in their mission that create opportunities for synergies to be gleaned.”

The second portion of this exchange program brought the combat communicators back to Schriever this month for insight into daily space operations.

The combat communicators’ schedule included in-depth immersions with Schriever’s space operations squadrons, a tour of the 4th Space Operations Squadron’s mobile operations unit and a balcony call with 50 SW senior leadership.

“There are several benefits to this exchange,” said Col. Michael Mason, 50 SW vice commander. “First, it allows us to develop some of our brightest troops by giving them exposure to the other domain of the AFSPC mission. Second, since both the 50 SW and 689 CCW provide critical communication capabilities, the program gives a chance to identify and build synergies as we learn each other’s operations. Finally, it enables us to build camaraderie with our sister wing. Combined, all of these benefits will serve to strengthen both of our wings, and hopefully the command as a whole.”

Schriever senior leaders aren’t the only people who see value in the program.

“This exchange program will help educate my Airmen about the whole Air Force Space Command mission,” said Master Sgt. Michael Scherr, 3rd Combat Communications Support Squadron Support Flight superintendent, Tinker AFB, Okla. “Being here, learning about Schriever’s mission and then spreading what Schriever does to my personnel at Tinker allows them to appreciate what goes into providing communications for the warfighters in air and at sea.”

Some felt the highlight of the visit was finding out how the satellite plays a role in their daily operations.

“The most interesting part of this exchange program is that it has given me a lot of knowledge on how satellites work,” said Staff Sgt. Alexander Gould, 54th Combat Communications Squadron airfield management, Robbins AFB, Ga. “I’ve had to shoot out to the satellite to complete a mission, it’s cool to come here and see every aspect of how the satellite works.”

Through this exchange program, the 689 CCW and the 50 SW have broadened their awareness of the overall Space Command mission and hope to enhance mission effectiveness.

“It is very easy to get caught up in the mission of your own wing,” Captain Galer said. “This professional development opportunity showcases the importance of understanding what other wings within AFSPC are doing and how our missions tie together. Coming to the 50 SW should create a broader knowledge base for the 689 CCW and 50 SW personnel.”

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