62 AW Command Post – Heard, but never seen

Airman 1st Class Dekenya Jackson, 62 AW Command Post controller, answers a call at the 62nd Airlift Wing command post on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., March 20, 2017. The command post is the hub for information being relayed on McChord Field, and has recently undergone major renovations. (Air Force photo/ Staff Sgt. Naomi Shipley)

Airman 1st Class Dekenya Jackson, 62 AW Command Post controller, answers a call at the 62nd Airlift Wing command post on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., March 20, 2017. The command post is the hub for information being relayed on McChord Field, and has recently undergone major renovations. (Air Force photo/ Staff Sgt. Naomi Shipley)

Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. --

“We are the nerve center for the 62nd Airlift Wing, we’re heard, but not seen,” said Bryan Barnett, 62nd Airlift Wing Command Post chief of training.

The 62nd Airlift Wing command post here at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, has spent the last several weeks working on renovations to their building all the while never once interrupting their mission.

“The command post is trying to get back to the forefront. We want this place to look like a command post again,” said Barnett.

They’ve been working with the JBLM Department of Public Works to install new carpet, new ceiling tiles and fix the walls.

They estimated that the rest of the updates will only take a few more weeks before the building is up and running.

“We’re getting it done,” said Barnett. “It’s starting to look like a professional organization again, a true command post.”

Barnett said the command post is an organization where it is out front, because it is essentially Team McChord commander’s war room.

“Leadership comes here and makes very important decisions that affect us all at the wing,” said Barnett. “We’re very proud of what we are doing and what has been done.”

Now the command post is working on updating their equipment, which Barnett said is a little outdated.

“Big things are going on here at the command post,” said Barnett.

From flying operations to mass notifications, the command post is the voice we hear.

“If we didn’t do our job, there wouldn’t be flights operating,” said Barnett. “In addition, we manage the regular base notifications, the giant voice, ad hoc notifications and more. We are 24-hour operations. Our finger tips are on everything that moves here at Team McChord.”

While the repairs were taking place in their primary location, at times they were forced to relocate.

“The mission still moves, which is why we have an alternate location and due to some of the repairs we had to relocate several times,” said Barnett. “That was a seamless transition, the base didn’t even know because they still dialed the same number and we still answered.”

Airman 1st Class Dekenya Jackson, 62nd AW CP controller, is part of the command post team and was present for the multiple transitions they experienced.

“It was a little hectic, but it went well,” said Jackson. “The goal is to keep the mission going,”

That goal is due to the magnitude of what the command post does.

“I can’t think of any other career field where you have a one striper talking to a colonel every day,” said Barnett. “You just don’t see that everywhere.”

That’s because theoretically once the command post Airmen are certified they speak on behalf of the wing commander when they are on shift.

Jackson said she enjoys the role her job puts her in.

“The most enjoyable part of my job is working with leadership,” said Jackson. “They teach us to be prepared for the unexpected and we are very prepared.”