Offutt Airmen receive rare category achievement

  • Published
  • By L. Cunningham, 55th Wing Public Affairs, and Matthew Miller, U.S. Strategic Command Public Affairs

Members of the 55th Strategic Communications Squadron were recently recognized for their participation in a U.S. Strategic Command proof-of-concept initiative to deliver on a nuclear command and control communication effort.

Senior Airman Taylor Bush, Senior Airman Alexandria Hancock and Senior Airman Ethan Ott, 55th SCS tactical radio technicians, were part of the initiative’s main NC2 crew and received USSTRATCOM’s 2021 Cross Functional Team of the Year Award for “incorporating 13 cutting-edge capabilities and demonstrating integration and proving usefulness of innovative solutions.”

Their teamwork, contributions and specific accomplishments did not go unnoticed by members of the battle staff and they were mentioned individually by name in the award write-up.

“We are re-writing how our nation conducts NC2,” said Adm. Charles Richard, USSTRATCOM commander.

TAC radio technicians support the base and its various mission sets by providing air-to-ground communications. Their work requires collaboration to maintain critical communications.

“It was a wonderful experience to see the bigger picture,” said Hancock. “It was a great learning experience for us.”

These Airmen troubleshot communications issues, setting up additional equipment to ensure connectivity with Looking Glass during a planned exercise. They voluntarily learned and assisted in vehicle setup and teardown, while still providing battle staff support 24/7 for the Mission Control Vehicle’s longest and most complex deployment.

“Representing our shop and our squadron as a whole is reflective of our training and teamwork,” said Bush. “We brought our different abilities and worked together. Our team cohesion was locked in and we knew what we wanted to do before we even got there.”

Once these Airmen were selected for participation in USSTRATCOMs proof-of-concept, they began training three weeks prior on equipment not normally used daily to assure their readiness to complete the mission.

“We can work from fixed or deployed locations,” said Ott. “My team was well versed, making not only continuity between shifts easier, but also completing the mission successfully.”

These three Airmen were also recognized by Col. Mark Howard on behalf of Col. Kristen Thompson, 55th Wing commander, for this extraordinary achievement during a Wing Staff meeting June 24 where he coined all three Airmen.

“The 55th Wing has incredibly innovative Airmen,” said Thompson. “The 55th SCS is filled with talented members, and it’s no surprise three of them earned this team award.”