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Command Post: The eyes and ears of Scott AFB

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Brian Butkus
  • 375th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
It's 3:30 a.m., and most servicemembers at Scott Air Force Base are sleeping. In one room, however, there's a bustle of activity as preparations are made to recall personnel as for an exercise. 

"As a 24-hour operation, the 375th Airlift Wing Command Post assumes many responsibilities after hours," said Lt. Col. Mike Kayser, 375th AW/CP commander. "One of them is maintaining an on-call roster for key organizations to inform them of incidents or emergencies and directing any actions from different headquarters when needed, such as force protection changes." 

Maintaining the on-call roster and initiating recalls are just small parts of the command post's responsibilities. The mission of the command post is to be the 375th AW commander's 'eyes and ears' for global mobility mission monitoring, operational reporting to higher headquarters, National Command Authority Emergency Action Procedures and reporting the wing's warfighting capability to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. 

The mission monitoring portion of their job is to help make the take off and landing of aircraft possible. 

"For mission movement and enabling flights, we coordinate their preflight and post flight requirements," said Airman 1st Class Bree Paris, 375th AW/CP junior operator. "We also track aircraft in and out of Scott to include; wing aircraft, transient aircraft (all that do not belong to the wing) and distinguished visitor aircraft." 

In addition to aircraft movement mission monitoring also includes communicating with aircraft to remain informed about fuel issues, passenger information and other factors that affect mission accomplishment. 

The command post is also responsible for operational reporting. 

"OPREPs are reports that are sent from the command post to higher headquarters and can go all the way up to Air Force headquarters and sometimes even the president," said Airman Paris. "There are many different reasons that an OPREP can be sent, some are active duty deaths, criminal acts involving military personnel and EOD responses." 

"It is important that we notify the commander of all things that happen on Scott no matter how small or large those incidents might be," added Colonel Kayser. 

In the event there is an emergency on base, the command post becomes and integral part of ensuring Scott's safety by following National Command Authority Emergency Action Procedures. 

"When an emergency happens on base, we immediately grab the NCA Emergency Action Procedures," said Airman Paris. "It is a checklist off all the things we must do. We notify emergency response units, contact various support units to respond to the site and make sure all the proper procedures are followed." 

The command post's mission doesn't stay within the confines of Scott. They report the wing's warfighting capability to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. 

"This is just what it sounds like," said Colonel Kayser. "We keep records of everything going on in the wing, and when it comes time to report these things to the chairman we are ready." 

As the 'eyes and ears' of the commander, the command post continues to be the behind- the-scenes hub of operations for ensuring the wing's mission of leveraging technology, ingenuity and manpower is a success.