Comm warriors keep Osan talking

OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Several members of 7th Air Force's 607th Combat Communications Squadron deployed to Osan from Camp Humphreys for an exercise that ran from Nov. 30 to Thursday.

The exercise lasted about one week, and was designed to train Airmen in providing communications support during times of war.

"If all base communications are knocked out, there still has to be a way to support the mission, zero day actions, the day of an attack, are very important, the first 30 days of war are the most critical" Tech. Sgt. Joshua Gaffney, 607th CBCS.

During the exercise, the Airmen are put into teams of three to four and assigned to one of six different tactical satellite shops. Once assigned to their shops, the Airmen must set up all satellites and other tactical architecture in a timely manner, and ensure it's operational.

They must also ensure the shop is manned 24 hours a day. They have to make sure the equipment is up and running throughout the entire exercise -- working, eating and sleeping in the shop for the duration of the exercise. The Airmen train in full "battle rattle" and go through chemical warfare training in their MOPP gear.

They go through many different scenarios during the week such as ground attacks, air attacks and troubleshooting equipment failure to test their ability to stay operational under various wartime conditions.

Thus far, their capabilities have not been needed real world, but they must be "Ready to Fight Tonight."

"The 51st (Communications Squadron) handles all the day-to-day communication needs of the base, we handle everything else. If enemies did decide to attack, they'd try to take out our lines of communication first. That's when we come in," said Staff Sgt. Joseph Henry, 607th CBCS.

The squadron usually peforms these exercises quarterly, but is currently performing them bi-monthly in preparation for an upcoming Operational Readiness Inspection.