By Staff Sgt. Patrice Clarke
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
At any given time, Airmen stationed throughout the world can deploy in support of combatant commanders. Though many space operators are deployed in place, members of the 4th Space Operations Squadron remain ready to deploy with their mobile asset at a moment’s notice.
Members of 4 SOPS tested this mobile readiness Jan. 20 and 21 at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., during a training mission involving the 326th Airlift Squadron from Dover Air Force Base, Del.
“We are testing our readiness and mobility,” said Capt. Jeff Guido, 4 SOPS chief of mobility operations. “We have to be able to command and control our satellites from anywhere in the world. This exercise tests that.”
Normally, the annual exercise includes running through the entire deployment process, to include loading the asset onto a C-17 Globemaster III, however, this year’s training went a step further and had deployable members along with the asset actually lifting off and participating in a local flying mission for the first time.
Relocating a tractor trailer-sized asset and all the personnel needed to ensure that asset is in working order is no small feat.
“This is definitely not a routine load,” said Tech. Sgt. Harry Pullock, 326 AS loadmaster. “Securing a load as big as this takes a lot of coordination; communication between all the parties involved helped make this a success.”
All parties included 4 SOPS satellite operators and mobile maintainers as well as personnel from the 50th and 21st Security Forces Squadrons, 21st Logistic Readiness Squadron and the aircrew from the 326 AS.
This “no small feat” requires preparation and training of the satellite operators as well as mobile maintainers well in advance.
“Our mobile maintainers are not your average radio frequency technicians,” said Master Sgt. Bryan Schubert, 4 SOPS mobile maintenance flight superintendent. “They are the best of their field.”
Once assigned to the mobile maintenance flight, RF technicians have to have specialized vehicle, weapons and security training.
“When they move to this section they go far beyond just being RF technicians,” said Schubert.
The satellite operators have to accomplish similar training.
“Our operators must be proficient in a number of areas to ensure they are always ready to deploy with the asset,” said 1st. Lt. Mayo Coiner, 4 SOPS deputy chief of mobile operations.
Ensuring the asset, operators and maintainers are deployable was the main focus of the two-day exercise.
“Communication was key during this exercise,” said Guido. “Everyone involved from the Schriever base agencies that helped make this happen to all of the outside agencies who participated, were amazing. The whole exercise went smoother than I could have ever expected.”