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Eyes and ears of the base

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Most people normally associate around-the-clock jobs with fire departments, hospitals and cops, however; the command post probably isn't one of those jobs that comes to mind.

A day, an hour or a minute doesn't go by where the command post isn't occupied.

"It's similar to being a lifeguard," said Maj. Robert Kittell, 460th Space Wing Command Post chief. "You're always on duty. You have periods of boredom separated by minutes and hours of high tension and, you've got time requirements to meet."

Being taken for granted and not having others being knowledgeable of command posts personnel responsibilities is something Kittell said is how most of his Airmen feel. Like in most work centers, when they're doing their job, they go unnoticed, but if they slip up, their mistakes could get amplified.

Their responsibilities are anything but normal compared to other command post around the Air Force. They're only one of about a handful that specialize and focus on satellite operations. So when Airmen are assigned to the 460th command post, they have to learn about the wing's satellites, how they function, the orbit they're in and how weather can affect operations.

If the satellites operations are expected to be affected by bad weather, then one their duties is to report that information to the 460th Operations Group, so they can plan accordingly.

They're also responsible for all base notifications and initiating recalls, and it's extremely important that these notifications and recalls go off without a hiccup. If it does, it could cause a chain reaction in misleading information that can have serious consequences, according to Kittell.

The command post is often referred to as the eyes and ears of the commander. That's because anything that happens on the installation, whether it be a DUI, domestic violence or a situation in which first responders are alerted, the command gets notified about and alerts the base commander.

"Although we're behind the scenes, it's a huge responsibility," said Staff Sgt. Joshua Carandang, command post senior controller. "We're in charge of the well-being of the base and making sure information is disseminated and the commander is kept up to date."

To keep their skills sharp, so they're always ready to handle whatever may come their way, Airmen in the command post are always partaking in some type of training or exercise.

"We've got a good team," said Kittell. "When things get stressful, they do a great job."
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