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    Task Force Liberty Airmen support Afghans with communications capabilities

    Task Force Liberty Airmen support Afghans with communications capabilities

    Photo By Tech. Sgt. Clayton Lenhardt | An Afghan child displays his sweatshirt in Liberty Village, Joint Base...... read more read more



    Story by Tech. Sgt. Clayton Lenhardt 

    Operation Allies Welcome - Operation Allies Refuge   

    One office of 10 Airmen provides communication capabilities for all of Task Force Liberty.

    “J6 is responsible for the computer networks, phones and radio communications supporting military, nongovernmental organization and Afghan guest efforts here in Task Force Liberty,” said Maj. William Traynor, TF Liberty J6 assigned to the 324th Training Squadron at Joint Base San Antonio.

    “Wireless networks are in high demand among our Afghan guests, primarily because it serves as both a lifeline and a nearly inexhaustible source of entertainment and news.”

    After fleeing their home country when the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, something as simple as connecting to the internet became crucial to continuing a sense of normalcy.

    “They don’t have a lot that they could be doing out here, so connection to their families through the internet is a big part of their lives here,” said Senior Airman David Vallance, TF Liberty J6 assigned to the 325th Communications Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base.

    “Getting them access, allowing them to talk to their families back home, keeping them entertained, and giving them a little bit of light in their day-to-day lives.”

    The communications Airmen work 16 hours a day to make life in Liberty Village “Better Every Day.”

    “J6 works every day to add more bandwidth to existing networks or in some cases bring network connectivity to locations that were nothing more than a field mere weeks ago,” said Traynor.

    The Airmen in J6 have spent roughly $35,000 to build a wireless network capable of supporting more than 9,000 users in less than six weeks without any previous infrastructure in place.

    Vallance calls it a fun learning curve since the Air Force typically doesn’t work with wireless networks. During his off time, he’s researched the most cost-effective ways to provide coverage to the population of Liberty Village.

    “We’re here to provide not just a distraction but something meaningful to people. You see them after doing an install, you poke your head out for two seconds in the corridors and walkways and see people on their phones. They’re enjoying something, even if it’s for a brief moment,” Master Sgt. John Cavazos, TF Liberty J6 National Guardsman assigned to the 176th Operations Support Squadron at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.

    “It touches my heart to know that I’m giving something to somebody that may help them feel a little bit more comfort.”

    That sense of accomplishment extends throughout the entire team.

    “Getting to help people on this scale is something I’ve wanted to do since I joined the Air Force and honestly, I’m happy to have been given this opportunity,” said Traynor. “I feel like I’m making a real difference here.”

    The difference being made is visible everywhere in Liberty Village.

    “Look at the people, look what they’re doing, look what they have in their hands; they have a cellphone, they have a laptop, and they’re able to communicate,” said Cavazos. “We provided that, they have that pathway to communicate with somebody across camp, across the village or all the way in Afghanistan.”

    For Vallance, he’s happy to be a part of Operation Allies Welcome.

    “The most gratifying thing is to see people talking to their families in the hallways, watching them use the internet that we’re providing them,” said Vallance. “I’m just really grateful I was able to come out here and be a part of this, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I’ll never see something like this again.”



    Date Taken: 10.16.2021
    Date Posted: 10.16.2021 13:39
    Story ID: 407404

    Web Views: 430
    Downloads: 1