My Command Post Life

So, as I’ve posted before I’m 20 years USAF and all this new tanker ops has really brought back memories. In 1995 I had cross trained into command post ( AFSC 1C3X1. Which among lots of assignments included the 62AW and the TACC Tanker Airlift Control Center.

So, way back in 1995, Siemens was the contractor who built our new consoles that included multi touch screens that allows us seamless comms across Phone/ UHF/VHF/HF comms and the ability to patch phone lines to radios so crews could make phone calls for one of many purposes. Also as NCOIC of console operations I had to make sure our frame room equipment interfaced with legacy 60s tech to new digital platforms including Novel, Win95/NT to talk to aircraft. I also as equipment officer make annual trips across the flightline to our radio shack to inventory our radios and antennas. UHF and VHF were local to base, HF were phone lines to stations across the globe. Our METAR/WX terminal was still a separate dedicated terminal from the Matrix.

So here are some interesting useless info:
Military use UHF to talk to us but have VHF for civilians
Talking to civilian aircraft on VHF sucked, weak volume on our consoles
Civies use Block time for departure time
USAF control towers use beginning takeoff role for departure
AMC/TACC uses wheels up for departure time.
A mission is not late until after 14 mins past scheduled departure
On some missions I could make approach /departure make room for my missions and preempt others
Replaning an AR ARCT sux while aircraft already airborne
A tail swap can be a real pain when the original plane is hard broke,especially within the 4hour window of launch
From 6 hours out from takeoff I had to make sure that aircraft was fueled, configured, FMC, pulled flight plans, weather data and gave CP brief to crews because sometimes weather shop would be closed or base ops min manned for night ops
The first person to be called and yelled at when aircraft break quiet hours
Receive a call from random person that our satellites in space are talking to them in their brain
Or the call that A-10s are scaring their cows
Or sending reports to TACC because of a dropped object, ie something fell off the aircraft in flight
Running IFE checklists because because pilots plans for hot brakes
Jets stop whinning when they land, pilots don’t.
Aircrews really want their box lunches on board the aircraft before takeoff
Fleet services must ensure a clean toilet
PAX are weighed on a scale while holding carry ons at terminal
US Customs don’t like short notice overseas arrivals
Wing Commanders love getting woke up at 2am so you can tell them that someone backed their truck into a plane

Oh and while in England stationed at RAF Alconbury and still in supply, it could get so foggy that while driving on the flightline would have to count taxiway lights to know when my turn was or end up up in a really bad spot.

Maybe I can think of something else later.

Other like mil aviation stories welcomed love swapping war stories

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Wow that’s interesting! Thanks for sharing, seems like a great career option, especially if you like whining colleagues 😂

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Thanks Bruce for sharing some of your life stories! Being a lonely sailor I have a lot less intresting stories to tell, apart from maybe one foggy day off Rotterdam RAdar appeared to show high speed boats tracking in on us, at last minute was able to see that it was 4 swans on a low flight!

What is a CP brief…?

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These are really neat to hear, and some are pretty entertaining. If I was a cow, the A-10 would probably scare me too! 😂

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Sometimes, depending on the airframe for en route crews it starts with a wake-up call to the crew unless they self alert but if plane broke or other delay we don’t call yet so we don’t start the clock on crew duty day. At some point when the pilots get to base ops, which we shared a part of the building with they would stop by our window and get their packet that contained things like copy of flight orders, flight plan that they would use for fuel planning, their updated mission plan, plus other things that were mission specific. A lot of times it was the senior controllers that wanted to do the brief which were usually a Capt and pilot or a Navigator who do a year rotation in the CP, Command Post. Most volunteering for the job to get a break from being away from home alot

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Here’s a link to the CP job description, it looks like it came verbatim from our 623, which is our training record which documents your certifications and education. At some point I’ve worked all these duties. CP jobs differ greatly depending on if it’s a wing/base, special control center, MAJCOM or joint billet like some of mine were 62AW, USSTRATCOM, DTRA, 18th AF/TACC/USTRANSCOM

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