Ohio National Guard News


269th Combat Communications Squadron
deploys in support of Hurricane Irma efforts

Story by 178th Wing Public Affairs
Photos by photo by Senior Master Sgt. Joseph Stahl, 178th Wing Public Affairs
Video by Staff Sgt. Zachary Tateman, 178th Wing Public Affairs

The 269th Combat Communications Squadron, Ohio Air National Guard deployed to St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands Sept. 7, 2017, to provide tactical communication support.

Capt. Craig Conner, 269th Combat Communications Squadron Detachment commander, speaks with the media Sept. 7, 2017, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio about his team’s deployment.

Tech. Sgt. Patrick Wolfe, a member of the 269th Combat Communications Squadron, prepares a trailer for airlift.

Airmen from the Ohio Air National Guard’s 269th Combat Communications Squadron, along with aircrew from the 164th Airlift Wing, from Memphis Tenn., load equipment onto a C-17 Globemaster III.

Tech. Sgt. Michael Miller, a member of the 269th Combat Communications Squadron, affixes a shipping label on a barrel being prepped to be shipped.

An aircrew from the 164th Airlift Wing in Memphis, Tenn. loads a Joint Incident Site Communications Capabilities (JISCC) trailer onto a C-17 Globemaster III.

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (09/07/17) —Six Airmen from the 269th Combat Communications Squadron deployed Sept. 7 from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio to St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands to provide tactical communication support for first responders and other government agencies in response to Hurricane Irma.

The 269th CBCS, stationed at the Springfield Air National Guard Base, is capable of providing communication capabilities with a mobile satellite, electricity, telephone, internet and video conferencing, and information technology services.

With only a few days’ notice, the six-Airman team quickly mobilized to support the hurricane efforts. The group is a self-contained unit, bringing their own equipment and supplies to last them several weeks. Equipment includes a Joint Incident Site Communications Capability (JISCC) suite, which provides satellite Internet Protocol (IP) connectivity and Radio Frequency (RF) network communications along with other equipment to enable command and control to be established within hours of arrival. The JISCC suite is aligned with the Ohio Homeland Response Force (HRF) and CERFP (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high-yield explosive enhanced response force package) disaster response teams.

“They (Joint Force Headquarters-Ohio) were looking for communication capabilities to go down and work with first responders,” said Capt. Craig Conner, the 269th CCBS detachment commander. “So, working with fire, the police department and any other government agencies that come in …we have the ability to basically go in with our communications equipment and we can allow them (first responders) to work together, speak together, all being on the same network.”

This is not the first time the 269th CCBS has been called to service for disaster support. The 269th has provided tactical communications support for the Hurricane Katrina response in 2005 and the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland. In the past year, the unit has provided tactical communications support for overseas missions in Jordan, Djibouti, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Kingdom. In addition, the 269th is actively supporting other expeditionary missions within the U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) area of operations.

“It’s (the) lessons learned from Katrina that allows this system to be put together,” Conner said. “We can now provide the same services as with Katrina, but in a much smaller footprint.”

Senior Airman Jade Brown, an infrastructure lead for the JISCC terminal, is going on his first real-world deployment.

“I got a call from the (269th CCBS) commander, asking me if I wanted to go,” Brown said. “Instinct was, ‘heck yeah, this is what we train for,’ and there was a lot of excitement initially.”

Having only 48 hours to prepare for this deployment, Brown was very thankful for the support and understanding from his employer, college professors and Family.

“I’m really excited and honored to be involved with this opportunity and hopefully situations like this don’t happen too often,” Brown said. “But when they happen, I hope that I can always be a part of it.”

“As the commander of the 269th CCBS, it is an honor to have this opportunity to help save lives and support our brothers and sisters to rebuild their communities,” said Lt. Col. Samantha Adducchio. “Our years of training and experiences culminate to this point in time to make a positive difference in the lives of others. I cannot put into words the pride I feel for this team of individuals and all the members of the 269th that spent countless hours making this deployment happen in such a short period of time.”

The 269th CCBS is aligned with the 251st Cyberspace Engineering Installation Group, also stationed at the Springfield Air National Guard Base. The 269th is the oldest combat communications squadron in the Air Force, tracing its roots back to the signal corps with the Army in Normandy during World War II.


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