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178th Wing Airmen gain active duty experience, share skill sets

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Rachel Simones
  • 178th Wing Public Affairs
Airmen with the 178th Wing Communications Flight temporarily deployed to Ramstein Air Base in Ramstein, Germany, July 9.

Members with the 178th Wing Communications Flight were assigned to the 86th Airlift Wing Communications Squadron to back-fill for Airmen who are deployed or in the process of permanently changing duty stations.

Nicknamed the "Wire Dogs," these communications Airmen filled 28 work orders on their first day assigned to the 86th AW Communications Squadron. Guardsmen and active duty members worked side by side to provide technical support for different infrastructures on base.

The 86th and 178th Communications members focused on data, telephone, secret Internet routable protocol (SIPR), non-secret routable Internet protocol (NIPR), and inventory work orders.
"This active duty experience provides valuable training for the newer Airmen to prepare for possible future deployments," said Air Force Master Sgt. Wesley Haines, the noncommissioned officer in charge of the 178th Wing Communications Flight infrastructure shop.

The 178th Guardsmen offer a wide variety of communications skills to assist the 86th Airmen, and the 86th Airmen provide a taste of how specialized each communication shop is on the active duty side.

"This experience is another step for preparation to function in a combat environment," said Haines.
Over the course of the first few days, 178th Airmen gained experience monitoring the health of the network infrastructure, and working closely with network management to provide Internet service around the base.

"A benefit of this trip is that we get to see a big picture of our job role," said Senior Airman Trevor Spires, a cyber transport technician with the 178th Wing. "It helps us to gain a clear understanding of how the career field operates."

The 178th Communications Flight worked with their 86th AW counterparts to provide more manpower and gain new insight about how an active duty shop conducts business.