Supporting Bomber Task Force 24-6: Intel, cyber’s critical roles

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Jake Jacobsen
  • 28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
Bomber task force deployments are a critical means to support global stability and security by demonstrating the ability to operate in diverse regions across the globe.

In order to support the pilots and weapon systems officers in the jet, operations support personnel deploy on BTF missions to not only oversee airfield operations, but to restore communication hardware and security-based systems that lay within the B-1B Lancer itself.

The intelligence analyst and crew communication Airmen assigned to the 37th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron provide the ability to talk securely with allied forces, and obtain pertinent information to the mission at hand.

“We focus all our efforts towards supporting the aircrew and provide up to date information that will help them make decisions in and out of the jet,” said Staff Sgt. Priscilla Ramirez, 37th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron all-source intelligence analyst non-commissioned officer in-charge. “We want them to have situational awareness of the region and of the potential threats around them to ensure mission success.”

Ramirez’s passion for the job stems from the satisfaction she feels going through the processes of mission planning to seeing the jets soar into the sky.

“I really enjoy seeing the B-1’s take off and seeing the products I created being used by aircrew," Ramirez said. “There are a lot of times during debrief where I see that I made an impact during the mission, especially on BTF missions where we work more hand-in-hand with aircrew.”

After obtaining the information needed for the flight, aircrew step into the B-1 bomber, ready to communicate with Allies and partners through satellite communication and encrypted devices as needed. To ensure these communication devices work effectively, a specialist is required to be on scene ready to troubleshoot any issues before takeoff.

“My preparation starts well before pre-flight crews arrive to ensure all their equipment is ready, then I transition to be on standby until the jet takes off,” said Senior Airman Nicholas Early, 28th Operations Support Squadron crew communications technician. “Because things are more tight-knit out here, I am getting to know the crews better and seeing what experiences and issues they are having, which gives me the chance to better prepare things on my end.”

BTF missions outside the United States enable aircrew and Airmen to become familiar with other theaters and enhance their skills needed to confront everyday challenges.

“Back home we operate out of multiple different facilities, so we don’t get to see the fruit of our labor as much,” said Early. “Here it's rewarding because I can see the jets take off every other day.”

This specific deployment highlights the importance of working with Allies, partners and other U.S. joint military units, bolstering the collective ability to support a free and open Indo-Pacific. The operations support personnel are at the forefront working side-by-side in creating an environment suitable for aircrews to have a successful mission.