Dedicated, hard working

Communications Squadron at forefront of information & technology

Submitted Photo A 5th Communications Squadron client support technician removes a circuit board from a computer in the squadron’s headquarters on Minot Air Force Base, shown in this Air Force photo. Airmen in the squadron maintain and support base communication systems through a variety of equipment including computers, radios and Blackberries.

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE – When there’s a problem with laptops or other computers at Minot Air Force Base, the place to call is the help desk at the 5th Communications Squadron.

“We have a team of special airmen who make that operation function 24/7,” said Lt. Col. Steven Skipper, squadron commander.

“We get approximately 300 calls a week and we manage hundreds of trouble tickets on a daily basis,” Skipper said.

The 5th Communications Squadron at the Minot base and other communications’ units in the Air Force got their beginnings with the signal corps.

“The Comm Squadron is almost 70 years old. It was established in 1949,” Skipper said.

Since that first aircraft lifted off the runway, communications squadrons have been at the forefront of information and technology, he said.

Skipper, who spoke to members of the Minot Area Chamber of Commerce’s Military Affairs Committee, said the work of the Minot AFB communications squadron not only is for the 5th Bomb Wing but the 91st Missile Wing as well.

He said the 125 airmen plus contractors and civilians with the squadron are integral to the communications squadron’s work.

The squadron includes several flights that make up the squadron at large to take care of the many aspects of communications at Minot AFB and in the Minot missile field.

Members of the squadron range from airmen just out of technical school to a civilian employee who has been with the squadron for almost 50 years.

Skipper noted one young airman is 18 and just out of tech school. “It’s nice to see these young faces because they bring us innovative ideas that make us that much better,” Skipper said.

He said the longtime member of the squadron has “seen a lot of squadron commanders come and go. He’s got a lot of great stories.”

“We’re proud of all these airmen,” Skipper said. “Without these airmen, these things don’t happen… and it’s a team approach.”

“We’re one of the cogs in a broader wheel but it’s exciting to know that we have direct impact on these operations,” Skipper said.