MOB Mentality: 5th MOB honors past, looks to future

  • Published
  • By Brian Shreve
  • Robins Public Affairs
The 5th Combat Communications Group may be turning 50 next week, but this renowned mob is anything but over the hill.

Anniversary events kick off with a golf tournament Monday and continue until Wednesday, ending with an awards banquet at the Museum of Aviation.

According to Senior Master Sgt. Jamie Kitchen, 5th CCG superintendent of plans and operations flight, the banquet is considered the capstone of the three-day birthday bash - due in part to its guest speaker Lt. Gen. Michael Basla, chief information specialist for the Air Force.

The 5th CCG, known more commonly as the 5th MOB, deploys to support a diverse range of operations anywhere in the world, providing tactical command and control communications, as well as air traffic control and weather systems.

It's a self-supporting, combat-ready unit comprised of more than 700 personnel and is now the Air Force's only remaining active duty combat communications group following last year's shutdown of the 3rd CCG at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla.

"(The 5th) is a unique group in the Air Force," said Kitchen. "With the tactical communications side of the house, we're always out in the field. We go inside a bare base and set up the initial structure so they can bring in troops and aircraft."

Kitchen said the 50th anniversary is a time to remember the 5th CCG's forebears and take pride in the vital role the group has played in operations since its official activation at Robins July 1, 1964.

The group's distinguished history includes participation in hundreds of missions, including its being the first combat communications unit in theater during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

"You have to remember where you come from because that's the foundation," he said. "A lot has changed in the computer age, but the theory of communication used back then is the same theory we use today."

With the colossal amount of advances in telecommunications over the years, Kitchen said that the stark contrast between the technology of today and that of the 5th CCG's beginnings gives him and his comrades a great appreciation for those "Mob-sters" who came before.

"They used to go out with teletypes, typewriters and rotary-style phones," he said. "Now with the increase of satellite technology, we can pretty much set up anywhere in the world. And, in the old days it took a lot of people to set up huge amounts of equipment. Now we leave a much smaller footprint.

"We've improved to be faster, leaner, putting fewer people in danger," he added.

Schedule of events
*Golf tournament - Monday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Pine Oaks Golf Course. Cost is $30.

*Social - Monday from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Heritage Club.

*Top Shot Shooter Competition - Tuesday from 7:30 to 11 a.m. at Gator Air Base, near Bldg. 1401. Come out and watch our Airmen compete.

*Family picnic - Tuesday from noon to 4 p.m. at Robins Park. *Open House - Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. all 5th CCG buildings will be open for alumni.

*Anniversary Banquet - Wednesday from 6 to 10 p.m. in the Museum of Aviation Century of Flight Hangar. Alumni will pay in accordance with the last rank they held and $30 for civilians. E4 - $20, E5-E6 - $30, E7-O3 - $35, O4 - $45.

For additional information or to RSVP, contact Senior Master Sgt. Jaime Kitchen at 478-222-8331; Senior Master Sgt. Ryan Landrum at 478-222-7420 or visit from a government computer. Editor's note: Unless noted, all events are open to all alumni, family members and special guests and free attend.