239th Combat Comm takes Whiteman by storm

  • Published
  • By Airman Halley Burgess
  • 131st Bomb Wing Public Affairs
The 239th Combat Communications Squadron, Missouri Air National Guard, travelled to Whiteman Air Force Base for Operation Tangled Web, a deployment training exercise.

Fifty three Citizen-Airmen from the unit, based at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, held a mock deployment here to train on basic Air Force and functional readiness skills they might need for real-world operations.

Due to a recent influx of new Airmen in the unit, 239th leaders determined that it would be beneficial to implement a full-blown mock deployment exercise, to provide hands-on training.

When deployed, the 239th provides an initial communications package. They have the capability to go anywhere in the world and provide full communication connections for a bare-base set-up within 72 hours of arrival. The initial package is capable of supporting 300 users. With the addition or two more deployment Unit Type Codes, support can increase to 3,000 users, although this takes between one to two weeks to set up.

"We had folks from the 131st that came and actually used our equipment. So we deployed our equipment, we came out here, established our tents, established our communications, and had real-life customers. That was the basis of the training," said Chief Master Sgt. Cynthia Scott, superintendent of operations for the squadron.

Almost half of the members of the 239th came to Whiteman for the exercise. The unit as a whole never deploys all together, but instead deploys those resources that the deployed mission requires. This allows the 239th to be flexible, in that they are then capable of sending multiple groups to different locations simultaneously if needed.

Coming to Whiteman offered an opportunity for the 239th to showcase its skills to the 131st, along with the active duty 509th Bomb Wing, whose installation hosted the unit, and provided an opportunity for the members of Team Whiteman to participate in the 239th training.

Squadron leaders were pleased at the outcomes of the training.

"It was a success all the way around," said Chief Scott, "We accomplished our primary goal, plus additional taskings."