PAPA AIR BASE, HUNGARY - Members of the 242d Combat Communications Squadron (CBCS), 194th Wing, Washington Air National Guard, Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, joined forces with the 140th Wing (WG), Colorado Air National Guard, Buckley Air Force Base, Colorado, to support a deployment to Pápa Air Base, Hungary. This deployment is part of Operation Atlantic Resolve and demonstrates the continued commitment the United States has to its allies.
The mission of the 242d CBCS is to rapidly deploy, operate and maintain command, control, communications and computer systems at any time and location around the globe in support of both federal and state missions. In support oftheir mission and the commitment to European security and stability, the 242d provided 18 members to the 140th WG, in the first partnership of its kind between the Colorado Air National Guard and the Washington Air National Guard.
Senior Airman Marvin Reyes, client systems technician, 242d CBCS, is utilizing the extensive training he has received at home to provide the infrastructure for the defense switch network, air to ground communications, internet, IP phones and printers; essentially any communications services that may be needed in order to make his first deployment a successful one.
This type of combat exercise provides a real world experience as Airmen are removed from the comforts of home, forced to adapt and overcome obstacles such as time zone changes and language barriers.
"Being away from home we have definitely encountered a few obstacles. It is a little different being outside of the U.S., we are dealing with the complications of time changes and leaning on our team back home for additional support" said Reyes.
Reyes stated, "In order to overcome obstacles we have been pulling longer shifts and maintaining 24 hour operations which also allows us to reach out to ourteam back home for additional support as needed."
Reflecting on his experience, Reyes said, "We do integrate a lot with the Hungarian military and they have been very professional and easy to communicate with throughout this entire process."
In addition to the tactical training Airmen are receiving it is also an opportunity for mentorship and development between junior and senior members.
Senior Master Sgt. Eugene Lewan, 242d CBCS, said, "We have a mixed crew of junior and senior personnel so they get the feeling of real-world operations while still having the opportunity to share experiences and knowledge."
As the Air Force continues to pursue total force integration, the support of Operation Atlantic Resolve demonstrated by the Colorado Air National Guard and the Washington Air National Guard reinforces the added capabilities reserve components provide in maintaining a global presence.
Lewan said, "The Guard has pretty much become the backbone of the military and they rely on us quite a bit so the more we can do what active duty units do and in unison with other Guard units, the better our military can be."
"Our experience with the 140th WG has been positive. We hope to continue these relationships with them in the future and in future operations." said Lewan.