Liberaider Spotlight: JSTARS communications system technician shows excitement is infectious

  • Published
  • By Holly Logan-Arrington
  • Robins Public Affairs

Senior Airman Evan Schmick, a communications system technician and CST instructor in the 330th Combat Training Squadron, loves to learn.

For that, and his excellent work with others in his squadron, Schmick was selected to be featured for the 461st Air Control Wing Liberaider Spotlight.

“There’s always something new to learn,” he said. “Any time I can continue to dig one layer deeper until I fully understand a topic, it helps me both to remember it and to teach others.”

Schmick’s interest in learning goes hand-in-hand with his role as an instructor teaching incoming CSTs how to configure, operate, and monitor any equipment that is used to send or receive information while flying in the Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System E-8C aircraft.

The planes are operated and maintained by Team JSTARS, which includes members from the 461st and 116th Air Control Wings, and the 138th Military Intelligence Company at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia.

When he’s not performing the CST role hands-on, the 31-year-old upstate New York native takes his on-the-job knowledge of each system on the JSTARS aircraft and simplifies it for students to understand.

“On average, I spend three full days a week with an assigned student,” Schmick said. “First, we mission plan, which requires us to seek out the mission crew commander’s priorities and communications plan, matching them with the equipment we have available. Next, we fly a mission, and I teach the importance of following applicable checklists for setting up the equipment and how to troubleshoot issues if any should arise.”

Schmick’s goal, like other instructors in his field, is to produce new CSTs who are qualified to fly and perform their duties, an effort he said takes teamwork.

“Don’t make it about what you can earn, but what you can learn,” he said. “Personal growth is more fulfilling than anything you can own.”

In a world where people are increasingly more reliant on infrastructure and technology for the flow of information, Schmick said he anticipates that there will be an increase in demand for experts who can consistently provide access to data that military leaders can use to make more informed decisions.

“The fascination that I have for learning more about my job and the world around me is certainly a great part of my daily motivation,” he said. “I think that kind of excitement can be very infectious. It’s difficult, at least in my experience, to be around someone who is truly, passionately pursuing an interest without being motivated yourself.”

Editor’s note: Leader, Innovative, Balanced, Empowered, Ready, Adaptable, Inclusive, Disciplined, Empathetic, and Relentless – These collective traits are at the core of each Liberaider in the 461st Air Control Wing. Senior Airman Evan Schmick, communications system technician and CST instructor in the 330th Combat Training Squadron was the next in our series of Liberaiders being spotlighted for their excellent work and dedication to the mission of the 461st ACW.