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Staying Connected in the Clouds

By Staff. Sgt. Nicholas Brown | 15th Wing Public Affairs | Jan. 13, 2020

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii -- Having access to phones and internet is more important than it’s ever been. We want to be able to reach people and information we deem important. General and flag officers need this access, even on official travel anywhere around the globe.

The mission of the 65th Airlift Squadron is to provide global airlift with communication to general and flag officers. There are only 8 distinguished visitor airlift squadrons in the Air Force, and the 65th AS serves DVs throughout the Indo-Pacific area of responsibility.

Tech. Sgt. Matthew Huch, 65th AS communications system operator, recalls his first mission with a general officer.

“It was great to see how we provide no fail communication during the flight, and that helps to strengthen relationships with other countries,” said Huch.

Enabling global airlift and communication to senior leaders isn’t done by one squadron alone.

The 65th works with different agencies on base, such as the 56th Air and Space Communication Shop and the 747th Communications Squadron.

The 56th ACOMS enables satellite communication for training missions and exercises, which enables operators to obtain high standards of proficiency.

“I come into work knowing what I do has a direct impact, and I can see that impact of maintaining air superiority is shown in the news,” said Airman 1st Class Rory Terrill, 56th ACOMS radio frequency transmissions technician.

Recently, the 747th CS helped replace broken broadband network equipment and provided firmware updates for the 65th AS. Without the equipment replaced, the 65th would not be able to provide communication on flights.

“Our mission delivers agile air, space, and cyberspace capabilities in support of INDOPACOM’s objectives, uniting allies and partners to enhance regional stability and security,” said Senior Airman Evan Vazquez, 747th CS network technician.

The 65th AS took Airmen from both units on a familiarization flight to show them the impact they have on the mission.

“It was amazing to see how we contribute to their mission” said Vazquez, “I can see why Generals would want to fly in this plane.”

The 65th AS is the vehicle that senior leaders use in order to strengthen relationships with our allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific, enabling ironclad teamwork with other countries.

“Without the aid of these Airmen, along with their partnering agencies, the 65th Airlift Squadron would be unable to fulfill our high-priority mission,” said Lt. Col. Neil Senkowski, commander of the 65th AS “This flight today strengthened the understanding and cooperation between our squadrons and further ensured our success, and ultimately that of our DV users.”
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