Staying connected

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Makensie Cooper

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii - - Members from the 15th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron are in the early stages of using a commercial satellite system to improve connectivity to prepare for deployments requiring agile combat employment.

The 15th AMXS recently hosted a training where they demonstrated the setup and tear down of a commercial satellite kit, a tool that provides high-speed internet and connectivity improving communications and allows Airmen to communicate back to the 15th Maintenance Group from anywhere around the globe.

“Today we showcased [the kit] for our ACE concept deployments. We demonstrated from setup to teardown … and what this is going to do for the Air Force,” said Master Sgt. Robert Phillips, 15th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron production superintendent. “The biggest problem whenever we perform hub-and-spoke operations is the limited connectivity back to the hub.”

The hub-and-spoke method allows Airmen to operate out of a main operating base while providing increased mobility and connection to supporting bases within the Indo-Pacific region.

A group of Airmen pitched the idea to the Wing’s innovation cell, Aloha Spark, and received the funds to get two high performance kits that are able to deploy on both the C-17 Globemaster III and F-22 Raptor at a moments notice.

“Depending on where the F-22 or C-17 go, it is going to enable us to have communication back to wherever we need to have communication to,” said Phillips. “That's going to help us out with any mission-specific things we need to do that we previously were unable to communicate back to the hub.”

The maintenance squadron recently tested out the capability of the kit during a training mission to Naval Support Facility Diego Garcia.

“We sent it out to Diego Garcia for the first test run for the flying crew chiefs, and we tested it there and we got video chat streaming going,” said Technical Sgt. Jeremy Soyke, 15th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron flying crew chief manager.

With the use of the satellite system, the 15th AMXS will be able to use this resource anywhere in the Pacific theater keeping multi-capable Airman constantly connected.

“The integration of [the kit] into the Air Force’s ACE concept marks a significant advancement in modern defense strategies,” said Phillips. “By bridging the gaps in communication and connectivity across air, space and cyberspace domains, [the use of commercial partners] empowers the Air Force to effectively respond to challenges and maintain superiority in an increasingly complex and interconnected world.”