Communications Airmen keep JF21-2 connected

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Michael Battles
  • U.S. Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa Public Affairs

Approximately 40 U.S. Air Force Airmen and U.S. Space Force Guardians from the 1st Combat Communications Squadron and the 1st Air and Space Communications Operations Squadron left Israel July 29, 2021, after providing communication and network support for Juniper Falcon 2021-2.

Juniper Falcon is in accordance with long-standing bilateral agreements between U.S. European Command and the Israel Defense Forces and serves as an opportunity for U.S. and Israeli military personnel to test simulated emergency response procedures, ballistic missile defense and crisis response assistance in support to the defense of Israel. 

According to Maj. Anthony Speziale, 1st ACOS director of operations, communications Airmen and Guardians are pivotal for the success of Juniper Falcon.

“The defense of Israel is a highly unique mission-set that our team continues to further through their innovation, technical expertise and dedication to mission success,” he said. “ACOS Airmen are responsible for providing capabilities to the [Joint Task Force – Israel] commander that enable access to everything needed to accomplish the mission and have full situational awareness of the AOR.”

Working in tandem with their 1st CBCS sister squadron, Airmen from the 1st ACOS are responsible for establishing secure communications lines for both U.S. and Israeli members participating in Juniper Falcon.

“The 1st Combat Communications Squadron provides world class support, and they are terrific teammates,” he said. “They’re always there, and they’re always willing to pull out all the stops to make sure we are successful. During exercises like Juniper Falcon, our teams work together to design innovative communication solutions because every mission is different.”

The 1st CBCS is responsible for establishing initial communication infrastructure in austere locations.

“Our Airmen and Guardians are all demonstrating how multi-capable they are out here,” said. Capt. Jonathan Han, 1st CBCS flight commander. “We’re literally building communication capabilities from the ground up for Juniper Falcon. We wouldn’t be able to do this if every person didn’t help do something outside their career field.”

Both Speziale and Han expressed that the dedication of their teams is what makes mission success possible.

“Communication troops by trade, they are skilled in other disciplines to ensure the integrity of the comm site – the team is full of multi-capable Airmen,” said Speziale. “These traditional comm troops are out getting dirty, building tents, laying the wire and really getting the mission done.”

Between the two teams, the 1st CBCS and 1st ACOS can establish and sustain communication infrastructure, enabling Juniper Falcon participants the ability to connect with their IDF counterparts, secure connections with higher headquarters and paint an overall picture of the command and control battle space.

Han added that when it comes to supporting the mission through communications the motto always is, “first in, last out.”

Juniper Falcon 21-2 marks the first time a U.S. Space Force Guardian has participated in an in-person iteration of the Juniper series.