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14th CS brings forward new programs, software for pilot training

Several laptops are pictured at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., Nov. 1, 2017. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexis P. Docherty/U.S. Air Force graphic by Airman 1st Class Keith Holcomb)

Several laptops are pictured at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., Nov. 1, 2017. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexis P. Docherty/U.S. Air Force graphic by Airman 1st Class Keith Holcomb)

COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -- Whether someone is picking up their 10th phone call in the morning, sifting through the past week’s emails or going online to check if their ribbon rack is up to date, there’s nothing connected on base without the 14th Communications Squadron.

With hundreds of issues fixed every year and new software and programs put on each government issued computer, the 14th CS has been working with innovating and modernizing how pilot training is completed.

After the Windows 10 update and a new SharePoint site being released, the squadron’s goal is to put every record from a piece of paper into secured digital storage and bringing the efficiency of SharePoint 2013 to the flying training world.

“Lately, our biggest collaboration tool is the new SharePoint,” said Staff Sgt. Jason Rodriguez, 14th CS NCO in-charge of knowledge management. “It helps everyone, especially those in pilot training squadrons, communicate and share information. That is one of the biggest ways our Airmen impact the mission here.”

The communications squadron’s mission is directly tied to the connection piece of the 14th Flying Training Wing’s mission statement.

“Our biggest focus is that connecting side of the wing mission,” Rodriguez said. “I like that focus, it gives me the motivation to keep moving forward and making this a career. I enjoy the lifestyle and the ability to help everyone communicate effectively to complete the bigger mission.”

The Air Force recently outlined a new records management plan, changing the way the 14th CS will archive and store the 14th FTW’s records. It is the new way forward for filing records across the wing and the squadron’s first goal is to leave physical records in the past and push to the digital era of records management.

“Currently we are working on transferring hundreds of thousands of records to the digital platform,” Rodriguez said. “It’s going to take a lot of time and effort, but in the end, it’s going to be a better way to move into the digital age of communication.”

Rodriguez mentioned how squadron leadership and every Airman is working together toward the mission and said he couldn’t get this done without all the help he has received.

Airman 1st Class Amad Qureshi, 14th CS communications technician, is the Airman who’s leading the SharePoint switch and is considered in the office as ‘the SharePoint master’.

“We moved from the 2010 to the 2013 version of SharePoint,” Qureshi said. “It’s reliable, consistent and easy to use. A lot of people are used to the old SharePoint that was buggy and difficult to use, but this new website is much more effective. It’s essentially a big playground that you can explore and do practically anything you need.”

His role in the communications squadron is essential, he helps teach and fix SharePoint issues across the wing. Qureshi’s knowledge and teaching ability is a great asset to have and he’s taught Airmen from the ground up almost everything he knows about the website with enthusiasm.

“When I first joined I didn’t like being in the military a whole lot, because I didn’t think I was making a difference,” Qureshi said. “Now that I’m in and know the job and have seen what I’m capable of, I’m starting to enjoy it a lot. I always wanted to work with people and in communications it’s exactly that. It feels good to go to work and help someone else, or brighten a customer’s day while solving a problem.”

Overall, the 14th CS provides essential communications and information systems along with information management to support the flying training mission here.

They utilize a 47-person military, civilian and contractor work force with a $1.5 million annual budget.

The Airmen plan, acquire, coordinate and integrate upgrades to communications and information infrastructure, as well as provide combat-ready personnel for mobility taskings.