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100th ARW Command Post: 24/7/365

Emergency action controller working at Command Post

Senior Airman Kalie Lyons, 100th Air Refueling Wing emergency actions controller, poses for a photo at RAF Mildenhall, England, May 20, 2020. Command post controllers coordinate command and control for the wing commander during routine operations, emergencies and increases in readiness. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Benjamin Cooper)

Emergency action controller working at Command Post

Senior Airman Kalie Lyons, 100th Air Refueling Wing emergency actions controller, fills out a checklist at RAF Mildenhall, England, May 20, 2020. Command post controllers use a series of checklists, that they create, to help them navigate local and higher headquarters polices. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Benjamin Cooper)

Emergency action controller working at Command Post

Senior Airman Kalie Lyons, 100th Air Refueling Wing emergency actions controller, checks procedures on her computer at RAF Mildenhall, England, May 20, 2020. Command post controllers notify commanders about significant events that happen on base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Benjamin Cooper)

RAF MILDENHALL, England --

They watch over the installation every day without fail, ready to act if needed, always part of the solution - they serve as wardens of the base.   

The Command Post at the 100th Air Refueling Wing coordinates command and control for the wing commander for routine operations, emergencies and increases in readiness.

They do this by remaining vigilant, responding in real-time to events that occur and by keeping appropriate agencies informed.

“We contribute to the mission in many different ways,” said Senior Airman Kalie Lyons, 100th ARW emergency actions controller. “We help coordinate with the KC-135s and their receivers, and inform commanders about significant activities happening at RAF Mildenhall so they’re able to make timely decisions on what to do. Information flow is vital at our level.”

Interacting with multiple agencies can be a confusing task to accomplish, but the 100th CP has a method to keep the madness in check.

“We are guided by a series of checklists that we’ve created in accordance with local and higher headquarter policies,” said Technical Sgt. Chad Davis, 100th ARW senior emergency actions controller and non-commissioned officer in charge of C2 operations reports. “We respond to events when they happen and no two events are ever the same. Our actions are dictated by checklists, but it is up to the senior controller to use sound judgement and expertise to determine a more thorough procedure on how to respond.”

Command post is the glue that holds RAF Mildenhall’s other operations together through communication.

“Without CP, all emergency response and coordination would lose reaction time, base populace wouldn’t get notified of events that could incur a loss of life ,” Davis said. “Commanders would be unaware or unable to accomplish short-notice actions, higher headquarters would have difficulty channeling important information in a timely manner. That could have critical effects on mission accomplishment and survival.”

Despite all the responsibility, or maybe because of it, Airmen enjoy their job at Command Post.

“I love my job, every day is absolutely different than the day before,” Davis said. “I’ve learned how instrumental our responsibility is to the safety of everyone on base and knowing that importance creates a new level of respect for what I do. That particular responsibility creates excitement and focus on everything I do.”

Some say the more important the job the more pride it brings when completed, CP is no exception.

“The aspect of my work that has given me the most satisfaction is knowing the actions and decisions I’ve made saved lives,” Davis said. “I don’t think there is a greater satisfaction in the world than that.”

The current working conditions are far from ordinary during this pandemic, but that doesn’t change the way the CP does business.

“Not much has changed in terms of working experience,” said Lyons. “It’s rewarding knowing how we contribute to the Wing’s mission, regardless, CP is trained to continue the mission and that’s exactly what we’re going to do.”