51st CBCS Cyber Transport: Keeping warfighters connected worldwide

  • Published
  • By Kisha Foster Johnson
  • 78th Air Base Wing Public Affairs Office

When it comes to communications, especially in the midst of war, “no service” is not an option for the 51st Combat Communications Squadron’s Cyber Transport Team at Robins Air Force, Georgia.

These specialists practice their wartime mission daily.

“It’s about speed and flexibility,” said Airman 1st Class William Wichmann, 51st CBCS Cyber Transport technician. “When we are not on a mission, we are setting up and taking down systems. The goal is to get faster and faster in the process of what we do. All that matters is speed and accuracy when it comes to combat communications.”

Working off generators and out of tents, Cyber Transport technicians can build a reliable and stable communications center in the middle of nowhere within 72 hours.

These specialists deploy, sustain, troubleshoot, and repair standard voice, data and video network infrastructure systems, Internet Protocol detection systems and cryptographic equipment.

They support the warfighter by providing a wide range of critical communication assets, such as satellite services, internet, phones and radios.

“There is a lot of pressure,” said Staff Sgt. Angel Rodrigues, 51st CBCS Network Operations supervisor. “This job is fulfilling in the fact that it is so critical. If we were to go to war, combat communication units would be deployed immediately.

“When it comes down to it, no matter the situation, you must get services up,” Rodrigues continued. “Everything relies on communication. Services need to be up so phone calls can be made and data relayed. People’s lives could be at stake if your support services aren’t ready.”

To maintain a high level of efficiency, technicians also participate in annual training exercises like the Expeditionary Communications Round Up.

The round up brings units from bases around the globe to Robins AFB to practice their skills in a simulated deployed location. The event also consists of specialized classes and equipment tests.

For Wichmann, this job is a dream come true.

“I have always liked working on computers,” he said. “Joining the Air Force to work with computers was my goal, and I’ve learned a lot. This is fun and very fulfilling, being of service to my country.”