28th BW's nerve center takes command, maintains control

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Anania Tekurio
  • 28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
Before the official duty day begins and the base is still quiet, command post controllers dedicate hours to the gathering and dissemination of data essential to the success of Ellsworth's mission.

At any given time, two controllers operate within the 28th Bomb Wing command post to make sure information flows freely between the installation's information center and base leadership - alerting, directing and reporting is their mission.

"Essentially, we are the liaison between the wing commander and the base," said Master Sgt. Christopher Hart, 28th BW command post NCO in charge of training. "We focus on making sure messages and information are delivered and aim to ensure safety 24/7, 365 days a year."

Typically, operators share information such as the status of aircraft currently flying, on-ground alerts and maintenance. They frequently receive calls from different base agencies helping to provide leaders with real-time data.

"As command post controllers, we are responsible for getting those messages to specific people and entities to ensure safety as well as making sure operations are successful," said Senior Airman Kyle Patru, 28th BW command post senior emergency actions controller.

In addition to providing swift dissemination of information, command post controllers communicate weather-related announcements via "Giant Voice," an installation notification warning system.

"[It] helps us send out weather conditions and emergency warnings at a moment's notice," said Staff Sgt. Jesus Ortiz, 28th BW command post emergency actions controller. "We test [it] every Wednesday to ensure it's working properly and everyone can hear it on base."

The command post also implements force protection measures, maintains organization stand-by rosters and plays a major role in administering base exercise operations.

Hart emphasized how critical controllers are to mission success. They provide command and control communications as well as information support throughout the full spectrum of operations.

"It's a tough job, but to know that I have a major role in either saving someone or allowing for the mission to be accomplished feels great," said Ortiz.