VTC gives leaders quick, effective communication capabilities

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Hrair H. Palyan
  • 28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
For years, the Air Force has used a number of avenues to better inform its Airmen about suicide, fatalities and safety issues. One method that has recently gained popularity is video teleconferencing.

VTC gives participants the ability to communicate verbally and visually with other participants around the world about these critical issues - creating a face-to-face experience without the expense of travel and lodging.

Tech. Sgt. Ronald Lozada, 28th Communications Squadron VTC NCO in charge, said the Air Force has utilized VTC for more than 15 years, but using it as an avenue to inform others about these critical issues is fairly new.

"On average, Ellsworth has five to eight VTCs per month - touching on a variety of topics and issues," Lozada said. "My team is responsible for setting up the necessary equipment, establishing a connection with the base or bases that we need to communicate with and controlling the (Microsoft) PowerPoint presentation that illustrates the talking points our leaders have."

During the recent Air Combat Command VTC - focused on suicide and fatalities, Lozada and his Airmen played a valuable role to ensure the conferencing was conducted properly - making sure Airmen attending received the vital information.

Master Sgt. Matthew Stritar, 28th Security Forces Squadron first sergeant, attended the VTC, June 21, and said VTC capabilities provide base leaders with a powerful tool.

"We use VTC to bring attention to serious topics affecting the Air Force, such as safety, so that Airmen from different backgrounds, career fields and ranks can analyze issues and learn from other bases dealing with them," Stritar explained. "It also helps base leaders develop situational awareness to combat key issues concerning Air Force leaders."

Lozada said he witnessed an increase in VTC during the past two months, adding that he thinks it's partially due to the fiscal challenges the Department of Defense is currently facing.

"VTC saves us a lot of money," Lozada emphasized. "If you think about it, it reduces TDYs (temporary duty assignments) and the costs associated with them, while expediting the conferencing process. I can see VTC being used more and more in the coming years."

For more information on VTC casualties and the information covered during the recent COMACC VTC, call Lozada at (605) 385-7266.