Worldwide communication

By Airman 1st Class Andrew Moua 2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs

Barksdale Airmen are connected to one another, whether it's through the Internet or phones, and the 2nd Communications Squadron Infrastructure Flight ensures Team Barksdale members receives mission critical information.

"We handle all communications on base and ensure we're connected to the outside world," said Senior Airman Miguel Reed, 2 CS infrastructure flight cyber transport systems apprentice. "Here in our shop, we have the entire base's lifeline that enables communication around the world, be it down the street or half-way around the world to another base."

The infrastructure flight is a hub where all of the bases signals connect and get rerouted to where they need to go. Similar to a train leaving the station; as it travels down the rails, it gets switched onto a different track and sent to the proper destination.

"When someone speaks over the phone, their voice is turned into an electronic signal which travels through telephone wires," Reed said. "The signal comes to the grid in our shop where all phone signals are received before being sent back out to their final destinations."

With a base as large as Barksdale, the 2 CS flight's 14 personnel maintain and manage the base connections. With a shop this small, the work can sometimes become hectic.

"We're a small group, and with a base as big as it is, it sometimes becomes hard to manage all the work orders that come in," said Staff Sgt. Marty Mogridge, 2 CS infrastructure flight. "Not too long ago we had a backlog of more than 300 work orders we had to complete. With the dedicated Airmen in our shop we completed all of the backlog. We now average about nine tickets a week and respond to them as soon as possible, typically within 72 hours of getting the work order depending on the outline provided by the communications focal point."

With sensitive lines of communication coming in and out every day, the flight also helps ensure the lines stay stable and secure.

"As everyone knows, there are 'trip-wires' on every computer hooked up to our network," Reed said. "When someone plugs in an unauthorized device, such as a flash drive, those wires are tripped and the cyber security section of our squadron is notified. Depending on what was plugged in and what was on it determines the actions taken."

Each day, the infrastructure flight works hard with small numbers to ensure Barksdale's lines of communication and access to the outside world remain open and unhindered.

"What we do here enables each and every Airman to get their critical data to the right places on time," Reed said. "Most other bases contract out this career field and end up paying more for it."