18th CS shows info dominance, postal skills

18th CS shows info dominance, postal skills

by Airman 1st Class Keith James, 18th Wing Public Affairs
Kadena Air Base

KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- The 18th Communications Squadron was recently recognized by the Air Force with two Air Force level awards.

The18th CS won the Air Force Annual Information Dominance Unit Award and the Outstanding Large Postal Facility Award for their outstanding performance, stellar facilities and their junior Airmen, NCOs, senior NCOs and officers showcasing information dominance.

"Earning best communications squadron and best large post office in the Air Force is an outstanding accomplishment," said Lt. Col. Jeffrey Blankenship, 18th CS commander. "These awards are a result of the hard work and dedication by the Airmen, U.S. civilians, and Japanese civilians. I am honored to serve alongside the men and women of the 18th Communications Squadron and amazed at what they accomplish on a daily basis."

The Outstanding Large Postal Facility award recognizes the stellar postal services here through newly integrated capabilities and programs that not only improved processing and delivery, but also receiving of mail.

Some accomplishments included establishing themselves as number one out of four for Pacific Air Forces large post offices by managing over 85,000 official mail center programs with more than 90 active distribution offices. By adding and streamlining a new United States Postal Service delivery tracking program, which alerts customers when their parcels have arrived and are processed, allowing the post office to trace over 19,000 in parcels to patrons.

"It's a big project and big program," said Senior Master Sgt. David Braun, 18th CS superintendent of postal operations. "But we figure out how to tackle any response".

In addition to winning the large postal office facility, the 18th CS also won the information dominance award.

Some of their major accomplishments which helped the squadron take home the information dominance award included being number one out of 17 units across PACAF, orchestrating over $1.8 million in wireless projects and installing Wi-Fi in over 60 facilities. They prepared site requests and certified over 140 technical orders tasks, secured aviation weather imagery for over 170 units in six areas of responsibility, and were named number one in PACAF communication security.

"We made huge strides in mobility. A commander can now pick up his laptop and connect (to the internet) at various points throughout the base, without having to plug into the wall or have a port open and activated," said Senior Master Sgt. Stephen Griffieth, 18th CS flight chief of plans and resources.

They also went on to earn the Defense Information Systems Agency Pacific Defense Switch Network facility of the year, which tested the overall maintenance of the DSN switch that connects all the telephone numbers on Kadena.

"Overall, I think our successes this year were marked by our leveraging of new technologies; bringing it to the war fighter in support of the mission here at the 18th Wing" Griffieth said. These awards indicate the impact that the 18th Communication Squadron has, not only on the 18th Wing, but also in the Air Force, he said.

"Sometimes people forget why we're here and that's to support the operation plans here at the 18th Wing through airpower," Senior Master Sgt. Seth Quirk, Section chief of cyber systems maintenance said.

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