Spangdahlem renovates command post

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany (USAFENS) -- A ribbon cutting ceremony for the 52nd Fighter Wing command post, or Wing Operations Center, takes place today after seven months of construction and renovation on the building.

Referred to as a Cold War relic by the WOC chief, much of the infrastructure and equipment at the WOC was outdated and required replacing, and needed to be brought up to U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Force standards.

“Not only did we upgrade the wing and equipment, we made dramatic changes to the layout improving the functionality of the facility,” said Capt. Stephen Clark, 52nd FW WOC chief. “Our biggest and most noticeable improvement was the construction of the wing battle staff, which in the past only had a room for a few leaders. Now the facility can accommodate the entire wing leadership and many other key players, greatly expanding our command and control ability.”

Another improvement to the facility are the state-of-the-art communication consoles currently being installed. They use touch screen technology to connect to emergency action and maintenance operations center controller’s telephones, UHF/VHF radios and land mobile radios at the touch of a fingertip.

“(The 52nd Communications Squadron) worked to ensure that the command post was equipped with the latest technological upgrades in command and control communications,” said 2nd Lt. Amanda Uyenishi, 52nd CS wire branch OIC. “A new secure (video teleconference) suite will also be incorporated into the conference room once the renovations are completed.”

Even with all the newest technology, it is simple things like a new kitchen facility that can be a big morale booster, said Master Sgt. Diane Yateman, 52nd FW command post superintendent.

“Right now, controllers who are on 12-hour shifts are eating fast food or frozen dinners. This gets very boring. The new kitchen will allow them to eat a greater variety of healthier meals throughout the day,” she said.

When people talk about the command post, they are normally referring to the emergency action controllers, but here at Team Eifel, it actually includes two entities -- the command post and the Maintenance Operations Center.

“We are responsible for recalling personnel, coordinating unit-critical activities, monitoring flying operations and reporting time-critical information to higher echelons,” the captain said. “However, in addition to the command post controllers, we also house the (Maintenance Operations Center) for the 52nd Maintenance Group.”

The MOC monitors and coordinates sortie production, maintenance production and execution of the flying and maintenance schedules while maintaining visibility of fleet health indicators.

Construction began in July 2005 and the 24/7 controllers expect to move into the new facility by the end of March.