Staff Sgt. Leo Angelo Mangahas, 35th Communication Squadron personal wireless communication systems non-commissioned officer in charge, opens a radio control box at Misawa Air Base, Japan, May 22, 2012. The PWCS shop on base is responsible for issuing, encrypting and repairing a $6 million inventory. The inventory includes handheld radios, base stations and other portable wireless communication devices. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Zachary Kee/Released)
Staff Sgt. Leo Angelo Mangahas, 35th Communication Squadron personal wireless communication systems non-commissioned officer in charge, works on a radio control box at Misawa Air Base, Japan, May 22, 2012. The box is used to send signals to one or all of the bird aircraft strike-hazard cannons located on the base’s flightline. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Zachary Kee/Released)
Fred Long, 35th Communication Squadron radio frequency technician, works with a communication system analyzer at Misawa Air Base, Japan, May 22, 2012. The analyzer is used to check the frequency of radios being worked on, as well as tune and adjust radio systems. This PWCS project included working on a base station at the base’s Airfield Operations. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Zachary Kee/ Released)
by Airman 1st Class Zachary Kee
35th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
5/24/2012 - MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- When first responders need someone to communicate on-scene or a task hangs in the balance between success and failure, one shop can be counted on to make it happen.
The 35th Communications Squadron Personal Wireless Communication Systems shop provides land-mobile radio communications for servicemembers across Misawa Air Base, Japan.
The shop is in charge of issuing, encrypting and repairing a $6 million inventory, said Senior Airman Douglas Gilbert, 35 CS PWCS technician. The inventory includes hand-held radios, base stations and other portable wireless communication devices.
Each unit is issued land-mobile radios, as their mission dictates, said Staff Sgt. Leo Angelo Mangahas, 35 CS PWCS non-commissioned officer in charge.
PWCS Airmen encrypt the radio devices to support military operations.
"We encrypt the devices to make sure no one is able to hear on-base conversations and pick up on what our people are saying," said Mangahas.
PWCS is also responsible for the maintenance of all land-mobile radio communications. This includes hand-held devices such as work cell phones and personal digital assistants.
"If a radio, base station or any other communication device breaks, the Comm Focal Point is called and the people from PWCS are contacted to go to the site and troubleshoot the device," said Mangahas.
When troubleshooting, PWCS Airmen check to see if the land-mobile radios are programmed correctly, check if the device is set in digital or analog mode, or if the problem is the result of a bad battery. A communication contractor is also available for more in-depth troubleshooting.
"Without PWCS radio maintenance, there would not be any communication around base," said Mangahas. "We would not be able to complete our base missions."
Land-mobile radio communication directly supports the 35th Fighter Wing mission, said Mangahas. Without communication on the flightline, jets would be unable to take off and land safely. Similarly, first responders, like base firefighters and security forces, need to be contacted immediately, and without communication, notification would not be possible.
The base's mission is the most important priority for all Airmen across Misawa Air Base, and PWCS makes communication possible, said Mangahas.
"The PWCS shop enables the 35th Fighter Wing, 21 associate units and the Japan Air Self Defense Force to generate, project and sustain combat power in the Pacific theater of operations," said Tech Sgt. Rashun Booth, 35 CS PWCS section chief.