Partnering in Communication

  • Published
  • By A1C Zachary Bumpus
  • 501 CSW

Twelve Reservist’s from the 439th Communications Squadron, Westover Air Reserve Base, Came to RAF Alconbury’s 423rd Communications Squadron for a 15 day site visit, spending their 2 week commitment contributing to the Cyber 365 initiative of the 501st Combat Support Wing.


Working together to make the most of the time available provided a valuable experience for airmen, both active and reserve.


“Our time with the 423rd CS represented the single fastest ‘hit the ground running’ tour we have ever experienced,” said Senior Master Sgt. David Gilles, of the 439th CS. “Under the leadership of Lt. Col. Jessica Haugland, Senior Master Sgt. Danny Vaughn and the rest of the 423rd CS team, our team members were able to actively contribute to the mission within hours of reporting for duty.”


Having the 439th CS team integrate with the 423rd CS quickly proved valuable.


“The benefit of having reserve and active duty personnel working together is the ability to share tools and resources,” said Master Sgt. Christopher Crawford, of the 439th CS. “In one such example we were able to train local members on a remote management utility developed by the reserves to help in remote patch management and to enhance network security. It was a great demonstration of 21st century tools being utilized by Active and Reserve components to accomplish the mission together.”


As the 439th CS team settled in, they found that they had more to offer than just their experience as Airmen. Because of the unique situation being a reservist affords, they could bring along their civilian experience to share with their active duty counterparts.


“One of the unique abilities of reservists is being able to bring our civilian experience in to a related field and use it to accomplish the mission in new ways,” said Staff Sgt. Corey Rollins, of the 439th CS. “Our team during this visit consisted of several engineers with specializations in IT security, networking, storage, development, and programming backgrounds.”


By the end of their two week stay the 439th CS team had proved invaluable.


They had helped migrate $200,000 in network infrastructure to a new site in support of U.K. wide NIPR assets, assisted in resolving a base-wide configuration management issue, resulting in a 42% reduction in non-compliant patched assets, helped reclaim more than 400 unused phone lines, initiated a new asset inventory process, and so much more.


But their visit wasn’t all give and no take, as the 423rd CS did all they could to share their knowledge with the 439th CS as well.


“Professional development looks to be a hallmark of the 423rd CS,” said Master Sgt. Adam Bassett, of the 439th CS. “Over our visit our members were invited and gladly participated in three separate squadron run professional development training programs, covering EPR writing, quality assurance, and MICT training.”


After a successful two week partnership, the 423rd CS looks forward to welcoming the second planned group from the 439th CS.


“It is important for us to utilize total force resources appropriately and precisely to accomplish the mission,” said Senior Master Sgt. Danny Vaughn, the superintendent of the 423rd CS. “Especially during a time when active duty communications units are undermanned, our partners in the reserves are a great resource.”