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CAT supports installation commander, Robins mission partners as pandemic continues

Photo shows a group of eight individuals standing in a conference room.

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- The men and women of the Crisis Action Team Support Staff stand in the CAT conference room at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, Dec. 15, 2020. CAT Support Staff members provide strategic direction for the installation during contingency operations and communicate through command directives to unit control centers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Joseph Mather)

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --

As the COVID pandemic made its way to the U.S., the Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, Crisis Action Team Support Staff began the legwork to ensure the installation’s mission and people would remain secure.

The team, which consists of civil service employees assigned to the 78th Air Base Wing Plans Office, is one of several command and control elements that falls under the Disaster Response Force. CAT Support Staff members provide strategic direction for the installation during contingency operations and communicate through command directives to unit control centers. 

The CAT Support Staff remained committed to its mission of supporting command and control functions, providing information, and ensuring emergency preparedness on behalf of Col. Brian Moore, Robins Installation Commander, and more than 50 mission partners at the base.

“The CAT Support Staff began, in earnest, to support the installation commander and mission partner organizations in January of 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Clay Dykes, 78th ABW Plans Office chief. “The support staff worked tirelessly, seven days a week, 12 hours a day, monitoring and communicating higher headquarters taskings to all Team Robins organizations, as well as managing and facilitating bi-weekly CAT sessions involving all senior leaders.

“The efforts of the support staff enabled all base leaders to effectively and efficiently disseminate critical information to their units, in order to keep the impact of the virus as low as possible to the base populace,” Dykes said. “To date, the installation CAT Support Staff has managed more than 250 taskers and higher-headquarters requests for information.”

The CAT Support Staff put into action a plan for returning the base to full capacity after the initial impacts of the virus, Dykes said.

The Return to Full Capacity plan ensured that all Team Robins organizations were provided initial issue of personal protective equipment or information to purchase items like face coverings, hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes, Dykes said.

Additionally, sanitation practices were put in place for building entry and exit points across the installation.

Plans were also developed and executed for an increase in telework with many enhancements made to digital infrastructure, Dykes said.

On top of the long hours, the CAT Support Staff continued to work through scheduling and social distancing challenges within their physical areas of responsibility.

Despite various challenges, Dykes said the CAT Support Staff was able to maintain focus on the mission and continued its seamless support and service to the installation and Airmen.

Moore said he could not be more proud of the CAT Support Staff’s unwavering dedication to the mission at such a critical time.

“The men and women in the CAT Support Staff have devoted countless hours to our installation command and control mission since the pandemic began last spring,” he said. “I’ve never seen an installation CAT function for nine months non-stop and maintain data integrity and unity of effort across an installation like our CAT Support Staff has accomplished during this installation COVID response effort. This team is truly remarkable.”