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Command Post: decisive response vital to mission success

Airman opens binder.

Senior Airman Shanna Rairigh, 919th Special Operations Wing Command Post controller, verifies contact information for a member assigned to the 919th SOW at Duke Field, Florida, May 3, 2021. The 919th SOW Command Post controllers are in a windowless room but they see all and know all. They work 24/7, 365 days of the year to support a mission that never stops. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Daniella Peña-Pavao)

Airmen stand next to large screens, one Airman holds a binder.

Members of the 919th Special Operations Wing Command Post gather around Senior Airman Shanna Rairigh, 919th SOW CP controller, while she briefs on the latest information received during a hurricane evacuation exercise at Duke Field, Florida, May 3, 2021. Members of the 919th SOW Command Post are the hub of incoming and outgoing communications and ensure information is being dispersed correctly maximizing the 919th Special Operations Wing’s state of readiness. (U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Senior Airman Daniella Peña-Pavao)

Female Airman speaks into microphone on desk with screens in background.

Staff Sgt. Kaydee Goleta, 919th Special Operations Wing Command Post noncommissioned officer in charge of command and control operations activates the Emergency Mass Notification System as part of her quick reaction checklist procedures during a hurricane evacuation exercise at Duke Field, Florida, May 3, 2021. The 919th SOW Command Post controllers are in a windowless room but they see all and know all. They work 24/7, 365 days of the year to support a mission that never stops. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Daniella Peña-Pavao)

Airman points at screen.

Senior Airman Aaron Thomas, 919th Special Operations Wing Command Post controller, shows all his actions are annotated on the events log during a hurricane evacuation exercise at Duke Field, Florida, May 3, 2021. The 919th SOW Command Post controllers are in a windowless room, but they see all and know all. They work 24/7, 365 days of the year to support a mission that never stops. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Daniella Peña-Pavao)

DUKE FIELD, Fla. -- The 919th Special Operations Command Post controllers are in a windowless room but they see all and know all. They work 24/7, 365 days of the year to support a mission that never stops.

Members of the Command Post team oversee a variety of tasks that are significant to the installation. They work hand in hand with the wing commander to ensure he has all the information he needs at a moment’s notice and can act quickly in any situation. They are the hub of incoming and outgoing communications and ensure information is being dispersed correctly maximizing the 919th Special Operations Wing’s state of readiness. 

“Think of command post as Google, everybody goes to Google to find an answer,” said Master Sgt. Irma Luna, 919th Special Operations Wing command post superintendent. “We are the Google for the base. Everybody comes to us to find answers on anything be it a big event or simply contact information.”

Not only do they control the Giant Voice system and the AtHoc alerts members receive across base, they track the 919th SOW Citizen Air Commandos and the Air Commandos from the 492nd SOW. They track every movement members make, whether it is mission related or for leisure, local or overseas, the 919th SOW Command Post tracks it all.

“The Command Post performs the command and control function for the base and our local commanders,” said Luna. “We keep track of everything that happens to our members on and off base which helps our leadership stay informed on everything.”

From flights to a worldwide pandemic, the Command Post team is here taking it all in, acting quickly and making decisive responses that are essential to the mission continuing flawlessly.

“We are the only agency on base that is trained and authorized to process emergency action messages that come down from the MAJCOM, higher headquarters and ultimately the president in the event of a natural disaster,” said Staff Sgt. Kaydee Goleta, 919th SOW command post noncommissioned officer in charge. “If something huge is happening, we are the only ones that will receive, send and disseminate the message to change any kind of postures or defense statuses.”

Command Post requires their members to stay vigilant and follow procedures at all times. One phone call could change the course of their day immediately, therefore composure must be kept and checklists must be followed.

“The moment one thing happens, everything happens,” said Luna. “Our job can be very stressful, you have to be willing to be flexible, have confidence, and pride in what you do.”

Working day in and day out can be challenging but brings command post controllers gratification.

 “At the end of the day, knowing that we had a hand in keeping control in so many critical operations brings me a lot of pride,” said Goleta. “We control the chaos.”