Fairchild after dark: night ops keep Fairchild running

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Jocelyn Guthrie
  • 92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
Editor's note: This is part one of a three-part series covering night operations at Fairchild.

It takes many civilians, active duty, reservists and guardsmen to keep Fairchild's mission running smoothly. At the end of the day when retreat sounds, most Airmen and civilians call it a day and head home. However, for others, the sound of retreat means their shift has just begun. When the lights go out at the Headquarters Building and other administrative buildings on base, lights continue to burn bright in places like the Command Post.

The Command Post is often referred to as the central nervous system for the base. Many know there is a Command Post, but few know what exactly goes on inside this building with no windows. Some of the things that the Command Post is known for are hosting the crisis action team and usage of the giant voice; however, when something affects the base, its assets, or those who live and work here, the Airmen working in the Command Post are among the first to know. In fact, it is the responsibility of the emergency action controllers to determine the urgency of a situation and notify group commanders, and even the wing commander if necessary.

"My troops are the foundation, and the mission cannot be accomplished without a strong foundation," Senior Master Sgt. Timothy Davis, 92nd Air Refueling Wing Command Post superintendent. "The wing commander depends on them to get things done right the first time."

The Airmen in the Command Post receive only six weeks of training at their technical school, but once they reach their base the intense training begins. Here at Fairchild controllers receive specialized training, certifying them for both the Air Mobility Command and Strategic Command 8010 Mission.

The Airmen, that work inside the Command Post, know what they do every day is important. Airman 1st Class Emily Benitez and Senior Airman Joshua Recla, 92nd Air Refueling Wing emergency action controllers, agree that what they do everyday allows AMC to continue its Global Reach capability making them proud to be Airmen.

The Command Post Airmen are not the only ones up all night - we can't forget about those who keep us safe. The 92nd Security Forces Squadron runs seamless operations day and night. From Airmen at the front gate constituting Fairchild's first line of defense, to those on the flight line performing security checks, there is no rest for this career field.

Master Sgt. Paul Persson, 116th Air Control Squadron section chief, explains the daily mission of Security Forces by stating "during any given day, Security Forces members control entry to the base, monitor access to the flight line, perform resource protection checks of all on and off base resources, and perform law enforcement services, ensuring the safety and security of base personnel."

Our security forces can be seen all over base, day and night. They have the goal of ensuring base wide safety and security, and to make it home safely, said Senior Airman Danielle Gadeberg, 92nd SFS installation entry controller.

If something does happen on base that needs a response team, the Fire Department and Ambulance Services are able to respond at the drop of a hat. Senior Airman Marc Villano, 92nd Medical Group aerospace medical services journeyman, explains the mission, as he sees it, of the 92 MDG Ambulance Services.

"The 92 MDG Ambulance Services provides around the clock rapid response wherever the mission requires. Our operational goals are to improve health and save the lives of any individual in need of emergency medical intervention in the Fairchild Community. The AS responds to medical, in-flight, and ground emergencies to provided stabilization and transfers of patients to the MDG or a definitive care facility off base via American Medical Response, a civilian paramedic ambulance company."

Airman Villano goes on to say "our greatest impact on the base mission is to keep Fairchild's active duty members healthy so they may continue to complete the base mission. We can't fly, fix, or refuel planes; but by doing our jobs to the best of our ability, we can ensure these personnel continue to do so."

That statement alone is why members of Fairchild refer to themselves as Team Fairchild. If it weren't for every person on this base doing what they are trained to do, no one would be as successful as they are at completing their mission.

It is time to shine some light on the many civilians, active duty, reservists and guardsmen that keep Fairchild's mission running smoothly; especially those in positions whose day starts when most of ours is coming to an end.