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    Mission swap

    Mission swap

    Courtesy Photo | United States Airmen from the Vermont Air National Guard's Command Post fly in a...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. Victoria Greenia 

    158th Fighter Wing

    SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. - It’s the first time the Vermont Air National Guard’s Command Post controllers have swapped place with their Air Mobility Command (AMC) counterparts; in January they went to a guard base in Rhode Island where they got to see what their colleagues with a different mission focus do in their daily tasks.

    In what the VTANG’s Command Post Superintendent Senior Master Sgt. Julie Krause calls a “controller swap,” two Rhode Island controllers were airlifted to Vermont by their C-130J aircraft in order to switch with seven VTANG controllers who traveled down in their stead to resume the air mobility mission.

    The swap was a first for the base and Krause described its concept as “career broadening, a deployment preview and a way to improve customer service for when the base has incoming cargo crafts.” Experiences like these smooth the differences between Airmen with similar, but still very unique missions, delivering seamless interoperability when collaboration is needed.
    Senior Airman Tiffany Thompson, a controller for three years with the VTANG, said she had a fantastic time while switching places with her Rhode Island counterparts. The only bad thing she had to say about the experience is that she left too early – she would love to spend more time, engrossed in the different world of the AMC. In that setting, controllers working with cargo craft spend more time interacting with the pilots and participate in different types of planning, things that could be required while on a tour of duty.

    “They have a different way of flight following than we do, and if we were to deploy chances are we’d be doing an AMC mission,” Thompson noted.

    But, as Krause wanted, Thompson said that the experience left her with more than just a deployment preview; she now feels comfortable with the idea that if her career path leads to other types of command posts, she has the self-confidence that she can acclimate to the necessary job demands.

    Meanwhile, Staff Sgt. Sarah Nichols, a command post controller from Quonset who came to Vermont as part of the swap, said she found the experience to be an eye-opener. Some of the exercises she participated in while with the Green Mountain Boys were things she had learned in technical school, but hadn’t used since, and it was nice to reaffirm that unused part of her expertise.

    “I would do this again in a blink of an eye,” she said. “I was able to see how another base operates and see how their missions are executed.”

    She said she hopes to come back when the VTANG has the F-35s as well as see other bases and how they function.

    Nichols may get her wish. According to Krause they are already planning a second swap, and she hopes it will be long enough so that both parties get a really good taste of what it’s like to work with other types of aircraft and management systems. Krause also said she hopes that this is something that could spread to work with other bases.



    Date Taken: 02.05.2016
    Date Posted: 02.05.2016 14:01
    Story ID: 188036

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