Trained tactical technicians

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Chris Willis
  • 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Airman assigned to the 1st Communication Maintenance Squadron are in high demand providing specialized communication maintenance technicians that support cyberspace systems throughout U.S. European Command and U.S. Africa Command areas of responsibility.

In 2012, the 1st CMXS spent more than 5,200 combined days on the road throughout the theater, visiting 45 sites in 11 countries on four continents.

"So far in FY12, the 1st CMXS has spent over 3,000 days on the road and is currently in our busiest time of the year," said Maj. Angela Freeman, 1st CMXS commander.

The 1st CMXS is Maj. Freeman' s first command and she has witnessed the unit's ability to solve complex problems and provide expert emergency restoration, preventative maintenance, training expertise, and maintenance support throughout the theater.

"Commanding the 1st CMXS has been an amazing experience, "she said. "The personnel in this unit are hand-selected, so they are the best our cyberspace community has to offer."

Additionally, the unit maintains a vehicle fleet of 86 vehicles and is valued at more than $7 million. This vehicle fleet includes specialized vehicles to perform theater-wide emergency repairs within 24-48 hours.

The Cable Antenna Systems Maintenance Special Communications Team (SCT) falls under the 1st CMXS and is a handpicked team that installs, inspects, upgrades, removes and performs emergency repairs on more than 667 antenna systems valued at $106 million supporting 109 thousand missions per year for Department of Defense, NATO, and EUCOM.

"There are very few bases that actually maintain the antenna side of the career field," said Master Sgt. Mark Malloy, 1st CMXS cable and antenna field supervisor. "Like the bases in the U.S., here we tend to assist and maintain several projects engineering and installing infrastructure across U.S. Air Forces Europe and Royal Air Force."

The Cable Antenna Systems Maintenance SCT's are heavily involved in an Air Force wide High Frequency Global Communications System decommissioning effort, setting the stage for system upgrades. The most recent decommission was at Royal Air Force Croughton where 11 antennas and 25 thousand of equipment was removed. Using the 1st CMXS for this decommissioning saved the Air Force $5 million in contractor fees to accomplish the same mission.

Whether it is providing 24 hour communication maintenance response or traveling to repair antenna towers in remote locations across the European theater, the 1st CMXS has proven time after time their unit's ability to provide some of the most highly trained technicians the Air Force has to offer.