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354th Communications Squadron wins Air Force award

U.S. Air Force Airmen and civilians assigned to the 354th Communications Squadron (CS) pose for a group photo in the snow Jan. 26, 2017, at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. The 354th CS won the Air Force Lieutenant General Harold W. Grant Award for small communications unit. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Cassandra Whitman)

U.S. Air Force Airmen and civilians assigned to the 354th Communications Squadron (CS) pose for a group photo in the snow Jan. 26, 2017, at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. The 354th CS won the Air Force Lieutenant General Harold W. Grant Award for small communications unit. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Cassandra Whitman)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Michael Bielawski, a 354th Communications Squadron radio frequency transmissions journeyman, works on the Giant Voice system Sept. 13, 2016, at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. Radio frequency transmissions use this system for emergency communication as well as Reveille, Retreat, Taps and the National Anthem. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Isaac Johnson)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Michael Bielawski, a 354th Communications Squadron radio frequency transmissions journeyman, works on the Giant Voice system Sept. 13, 2016, at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. Radio frequency transmissions use this system for emergency communication as well as Reveille, Retreat, Taps and the National Anthem. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Isaac Johnson)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Angelo Dickerson, 354th Communications Squadron cyber transport systems technician, works on the computer Jan. 27, 2016, at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. Dickerson has remote access through the computer to troubleshoot computer connectivity issues across Eielson. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Cassandra Whitman/Released)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Angelo Dickerson, 354th Communications Squadron cyber transport systems technician, works on the computer Jan. 27, 2016, at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. Dickerson has remote access through the computer to troubleshoot computer connectivity issues across Eielson. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Cassandra Whitman/Released)

EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska --

Every Airman’s day-to-day tasks are somehow connected to the communications squadron. Buildings, offices, even underground is mapped through a squadron of less than 100 personnel; directing every phone call, email or network issue.

Eielson’s very own 354th Communications Squadron won the Air Force Lieutenant General Harold W. Grant Award for small communications unit.

Many Airmen and civilian personnel contributed to the achievement of this accolade. It took many hours of hard work and dedication from the vast number of shops within the squadron to qualify for, and win this award.

A few accomplishments highlighted in the award that occurred between October 2015 and September 2016 include reinforcing 3,000 sorties for RED FLAG-Alaska; overcoming an Air Force e-Policy Orchestrator outage which led to being 100 percent compliant with the host-based security system command cyber readiness inspection; and revamping the insider threat program spurring a Defense Information Systems Agency requirement change.

Leadership played a key role in guidance for the Airmen, aiding in the professional work demonstrated by the squadron.

“It’s easy to do your job when your leadership has your back and provides top cover for your work,” said Senior Airman Andrew Luong, a 354th CS cyber transportation journeyman. “Going into a job with the knowledge that your leadership trusts you, enables you to do your best work.”

Luong isn’t the only Airmen who appreciates his leadership’s guidance. Staff Sgt. George Nolte, the 354th CS noncommissioned officer in charge of the base equipment custodian office, said his leadership encourages and enables Airmen to do their best. There is always someone to lean on.

“I came from a base where if you had information on how to efficiently do a job, you kept it to yourself,” said Nolte. “I quickly learned here that sharing is caring. You grow as an Airmen when you gain and give knowledge.”

Each different shop within the communications squadron played a key role in helping to win this award. Some of those shops include the communications focal point, where the bases’ communication work orders go and basic troubleshooting takes place; the cable barn, which is primarily made up of civilians who work on phones and utilidors; radio frequencies, which maintain the Giant Voice System and many other radio systems throughout the base; and infrastructure, which go to buildings and offices and complete hands-on work.

The success of the communications squadron does not rest on any one individual, rather on the squadron as a whole.

“Don’t reinvent the wheel,” said Luong. “Reach out to other bases if you have too. We are a Total Force, and we should always look out for each other.”