Members of the 451st Air Expeditionary Group are staffing a new command post set up by the Air Force at Kandahar Air Field, Afghanistan. The base is NATO-led, but since there is a growing Air Force mission there, the service decided earlier this year to re-establish this presence; USAF had operated a command post there several years back. The first four controllers arrived at Kandahar in September, and with some equipment in place, were able to begin operating in a limited capacity and have been able to function successfully. “Even with limited operations, it provides us with a lot more continuity and communication,” said SMSgt. Michael Pearce, previous command post superintendent with the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing at Bagram Air Base. The biggest challenge for the crew has been trying to establish their role since many of the traditional command post roles were taken on by other airmen when the original command post shuttered. “We’ve had to hunt down what we are supposed to be doing and take the job back,” said TSgt. Kristy Konicki, NCO in charge of the command post. (Kandahar report by SSgt. Rachel Martinez)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.