INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey --
While the world continues to battle COVID-19, the Titans of Incirlik Air Base continue the mission with support from the 39th Communications Squadron (CS).
The 39th CS’s mission is to enable deterrence and power projection from NATO’s southern flank by providing assured, resilient and secure command, control and communications for the U.S. and its allies.
“Our team has a responsibility to respond to any critical communication issue any day of the week, and under any circumstance, to include the threat of a deadly worldwide pandemic,” said Lt. Col. John Paul Arre, 39th CS commander.
When teleworking was initially enabled due to COVID-19 precautionary measures, the squadron determined the wing’s communication requirements and distributed over 200 laptops to mission-critical users. Soon after, the squadron created and released a teleworking guide to inform users on teleworking capabilities and processes.
The teleworking guide provides all-inclusive instructional information--from how to connect to the network, to instructions for members that require voice communications and video conferencing. It also explains how to use chat and file sharing capabilities.
To ensure issues do not affect teleworking capabilities, the 39th CS Communications Focal Point (CFP) serves as the command and control of scheduled and unscheduled maintenance.
“The role of the CFP during COVID-19 has been dynamic,” said Master Sgt. Yolanda Green, 39th CS client service center section chief. “We have continued to receive, coordinate and provide communications capabilities to Incirlik Air Base while working a minimum manning schedule.”
With the increased demand for teleworking due to minimum manning throughout the wing, the squadron’s workload steadily increased.
“The COVID-19 crisis has required our CFP to become more flexible as we continue to provide command and control for the base in order to enable key leadership and base personnel the ability to carry out our important mission,” Green said. “Once the base went down to minimum manning, we received an influx of tickets for teleworking capabilities.”
Although the times may be difficult, the unit continues to stand together and remain positive to complete the mission.
“Our Airmen have responded well to the changed ops tempo,” Green said. “They have remained flexible, proficient at their jobs and have maintained good spirits. The most rewarding part for our unit has been continuing to ensure mission success during this tough time.”
Chief Master Sgt. Tomeika Frazier, 39th CS superintendent, encourages her Airmen to strive and work together.
“Teamwork is the bedrock of how we accomplish our mission,” Frazier said. “Our Airmen have built a strong team. We have the opportunity to foster teamwork through collaborative tools and applications to keep our connections strong. By continuing to set specific goals, recognizing achievements and maintaining trust through transparency and clear communication, we are able to carry on in this challenging time.”
The 39th CS leadership expressed their appreciation for their squadron’s hardwork and dedication to the mission.
“I’m extremely proud of all the men and women of the 39th CS for continuously enabling the mission in the most adverse conditions,” said Arre. “Not only did they quickly answer the call to make teleworking a reality at Incirlik, but they jumped at the opportunity with enthusiasm and professionalism. I couldn’t ask for a better squadron.”
“I want them to remember a quote from one of my favorite Star Trek episodes,” he continued. “‘You know the greatest danger facing us is ourselves, an irrational fear of the unknown. But there's no such thing as the unknown--only things temporarily hidden, temporarily not understood.’ – Capt. James T. Kirk. I want them to know that it’s okay to fear the unknown. We’re going to figure this out and we’re going to get through this together.”