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When the sun has set and any bright color remaining in the southern New Mexico sky has left, few people stay awake.
While the streets are practically empty, there are a select few Airmen awake and overseeing the 49th Wing. This series highlights the individuals who regularly follow the “service before self” Air Force core value by doing their job while others are asleep in the comforts of their home.
The 49th Wing command post has Airmen working 24/7, listening in on emergency services such as security forces and fire services in case of an emergency.
“Command post is the central point for information on base 24/7,” said Master Sgt. Irma Allen, command post superintendent. “Command post is in charge of relaying all information that would affect any personnel, facility, or equipment to the wing commander and other leadership. Command post is also in charge of relaying emergency notifications to base personnel via the giant voice system and AtHoc alerts. We also monitor transient aircraft and provide support to all aircrew on those missions.”
Having controllers ready to respond at night is essential to the safety of base residents and workers. Units like command post and security forces are ready 24 hours a day to assist people in danger.
“There is a saying, ‘When it is quiet, it is good,’ this means that there is nothing threatening the safety and well-being of our Airmen on base,” said Staff Sgt. Joey Trevino, command post emergency actions controller. “The nights are long and occasionally it can feel as if time is standing still, but we all take our position extremely seriously and know we serve a purpose.”
While many are unaware of the command posts’ existence until the voice system is used, without their assistance in emergencies the immediate response may be delayed.
“All the agencies that require notification of any major accident that occurs would be affected because they would not be notified by incidents in a timely manner,” said Allen. “Security forces are able to make the notifications, but we team up and help each other out with notifications to make things move faster.”
Trevino said working in CP here has many benefits, but he mostly enjoys the luxury networking with many of the agencies on base and learning how the different Air Force Specialty Codes contribute to the mission and create airpower here.
While working in the command post offers insight into other essential jobs here, the command post ‘Airmen of the Night,’ provide a critical function to the base through support and are a key factor to complete the Holloman mission.
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