SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany — President Obama's renewed commitment to send an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan has increased the tempo to get necessary equipment and supplies to airmen, sailors, soldiers and Marines downrange.
The large influx has triggered a wave of additional command and control requirements, surveillance and reconnaissance assets. In order to utilize these assets effectively the 52nd Communications Squadron is sending computers downrange to aid service members in the hostile environment.
Airmen here and at 16 geographically-separated units are aware the wing is overhauling dated computers to comply with the current Air Force mandate, colloquially known as the "Vista push."
"These individuals are the epitome of commitment and work tirelessly to keep the mission going without a hitch," said Air Force 1st Lt. Darold Froemming.
Due to the quick ramp up, many supply reserves downrange can deplete quickly. Traditional supply purchases take additional funding and time to get them to locations where they are needed. Reusing equipment at bases in Afghanistan, such as Camp Bastion, Camp Leatherneck, Kabul and Kandahar Air Field, is quicker and cheaper than the status quo. In addition, indigenous equipment limitations remain irrelevant downrange.
Spangdahlem is no novice when it comes to providing unconventional assistance to the warfighter. Spangdahlem communicators have already participated in reutilizing more than $512,000 in vital equipment to plug critical shortfalls at Kandahar and Camp Bastion.
"The combined efforts of these outstanding Air Force officers and NCOs allowed a gain in equipment that will significantly enhance the mission capabilities of bases in Regional Command-South," wrote U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Frederick B. Hodges, NATO International Security Assistance Force Regional Command-South Director of Operations.
Further shipments are currently ongoing. Once completed, these will boost the 52nd Fighter Wing's contribution to assist and coordinate efforts. These will include many additional supplies for forward operating bases and explosive ordinance disposal units.
With these unconventional aid plans, the 52nd FW assisted in the development of a sturdy foundation for bases downrange and effectively projected the Cyber Saber Standard.