90 @ Nite: Command Post
By Airman 1st Class Malcolm Mayfield, 90th Missile Wing Public Affairs
/ Published August 31, 2015
F.E. WARREN AIR FORCE BASE, Wyo. --
At the heart of Warren's communication network lies the 90th Missile Wing Command Post. These Airmen cultivate a web of information and pump that information out to the needed experts day and night.
"We have a 24-hour mission here," said Master Sgt. Spencer Glipa, 90th MW Command Post superintendent. "We are the central point of contact for the senior leaders to send information up and down our chain of command. We are also responsible for constantly receiving and responding to emergency action messages from [U.S. Strategic Command]."
The ever fluctuating schedule for command post leaves a minimum of two Airman ready to receive commands from leadership and act on them at a moment's notice, whether it be directions STRATCOM or information on a vehicle accident on base, the crew is always alert-- day or night.
"It is vital to the mission to have personnel manning the command post to secure and protect classified information and systems," said Senior Airman Zachary Pirrung, 90th MW Command Post senior emergency action controller. "As the eyes and ears of the commander, the controllers must stay alert to ensure the vigilance of the command and control node."
The crew managing this command and control center work in a secure area and perform their duties 24/7, 365 days a year.
The room is constantly manned by two-person teams, senior and junior emergency action controllers.
The command post is one of several locations that maintain a constant level of alert, making them a key avenue for distributing information.
"My personal favorite aspect of my job is acting as the eyes and ears for the commander," Pirrung said. "They look to us as the subject matter experts, but at the end of the day it's their decision to be made and we provide the information to help them make it."
The emergency action controllers act as liaisons for the leadership overseeing the operation of the wing. Even the slightest delay in relaying information could hinder the nuclear deterrence mission of the 90th MW.
Day and night, the unit provides information to Warren's leaders, leading to personal pride for the Airmen.
"What drives me is knowing that not only other agencies depend on us for immediate accurate information, but the commanders do as well," said Airman 1st Class Chanel Cummings, 90th MW Command Post junior emergency action controller.
While many see working nights as a hassle, that is not always the case. Pirrung said that being scheduled for the night shift can lead to some stressful nights, but also has its fair share of quiet nights when a lot of work can get done.
Airmen working toward their associate's degree from the Community College of the Air Force or working on computer based training have plenty of time to get their work completed, he said.
"Working nights for a while, you get used to it," Cummings said.
However, when things start to heat up, the crew has to be aware, responsive and accurate in the flow of information they provide.
"We form a web of information," Cummings said. "We have to be able to draw on that information at a moment's notice."