Columbus AFB command post is a vital point to keeping the mission moving
By Airman Davis Donaldson, 14th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs
/ Published March 04, 2020
COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. --
The command post team at Columbus Air Force Base is responsible for alerting, directing and reporting any threat, at all times, for 24 hours, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
The team specifically specializes in alerting the base of potential threats, directing emergency actions and reporting the threats to base leadership. On average, the command post at CAFB addresses nearly a couple hundred of concerns and notifications annually.
Master Sgt. Michael Pearce, 14th Wing Staff Agency command post superintendent, explained the command post’s overall mission.
“The generic mission of the command post is to alert, direct and report,” Pearce said. “Here, our mission is to keep everybody notified, make sure everybody is on the same page and to relay information up and down the chain.”
Staff Sgt. Aaron Ellis, 14th WSA command and control systems NCO in charge, went into detail about how the command post passes messages to the thousands of people on CAFB.
“You know the large voice that goes off and that can be heard all over base? Yeah, that’s us,” said Ellis. “We also can send out notifications through email to base members if necessary. Although it can seem annoying, it’s a very important tool we use.”
Ellis said they also can direct first responders about the situation, if they find that it needs assistance; whether be the Columbus’s fire department, medical response team or security forces.
They report the situation to base leadership as well, he said. Ellis said if other parts of the Air Force are, or will be affected other than the base, higher leadership will also be notified by them.
Pearce said no two command posts at two distinct bases have the same mission. Although different, command post specialists are essential to every base and remain vital to the 14th FTW mission, Pearce said.
“If the command post team wasn’t here, I feel like a lot of agencies would need help and not get it or not know who to go to get help,” Pearce said. “We kind of tie everyone together. We tie all of the agencies to provide services for the wing.”
Pearce said there is never a routine day and some days are faster than others, but every day each Airman works 12-hour shifts and the command post is manned around the clock.
He said though some days are long, when a problem arises unexpectedly and is solved quickly, the command post’s training and preparedness makes their mission a rewarding one, Pearce said.
“It’s slow sometimes,” Pearce said. “But when things happen and you’re like ‘man I wasn’t expecting XYZ to happen,’ but then you knock it out of the park, then, yeah, it’s very rewarding for us.”