Hill Command Post: Masters of disaster

Emergency actions controllers Airman 1st Class Meggan Van Atta, Master Sgt. Jeremy Smith, and Senior Airman Jeremy Odneal answer response calls in the Hill Command Post, Nov. 18, 2016. Command post specialists ensure base operations and communications run efficiently and effectively under any circumstance by providing command, control, communications and information support. (U.S. Air Force photo by R. Nial Bradshaw)

Emergency actions controllers Airman 1st Class Meggan Van Atta, Master Sgt. Jeremy Smith, and Senior Airman Jeremy Odneal answer response calls in the Hill Command Post, Nov. 18, 2016. Command post specialists ensure base operations and communications run efficiently and effectively under any circumstance by providing command, control, communications and information support. (U.S. Air Force photo by R. Nial Bradshaw)

Emergency actions controllers Airman 1st Class Meggan Van Atta, Master Sgt. Jeremy Smith, and Senior Airman Jeremy Odneal answer response calls in the Hill Command Post, Nov. 18, 2016. Command post specialists ensure base operations and communications run efficiently and effectively under any circumstance by providing command, control, communications and information support. (U.S. Air Force photo by R. Nial Bradshaw)

Emergency actions controllers Airman 1st Class Meggan Van Atta, Master Sgt. Jeremy Smith, and Senior Airman Jeremy Odneal answer response calls in the Hill Command Post, Nov. 18, 2016. Command post specialists ensure base operations and communications run efficiently and effectively under any circumstance by providing command, control, communications and information support. (U.S. Air Force photo by R. Nial Bradshaw)

The ‘Giant Voice’ machine sits in the Hill Air Force Base Command Post, Nov. 18, 2016. Using quick-reaction checklists, specialized hotline telephone networks and essential controller judgement, command post personnel use multiple notification systems to inform base populace of impending situations and recalls. (U.S. Air Force photo by R. Nial Bradshaw)

The ‘Giant Voice’ machine sits in the Hill Air Force Base Command Post, Nov. 18, 2016. Using quick-reaction checklists, specialized hotline telephone networks and essential controller judgement, command post personnel use multiple notification systems to inform base populace of impending situations and recalls. (U.S. Air Force photo by R. Nial Bradshaw)

Emergency Actions Controller Senior Airman Jeremy Odneal answers a response call in the command post at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, Nov. 18, 2016. The command post is manned at all times by two certified emergency actions controllers. Both active-duty and Reserve Airmen operate the Hill Command Post. (U.S. Air Force photo by R. Nial Bradshaw)

Emergency Actions Controller Senior Airman Jeremy Odneal answers a response call in the command post at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, Nov. 18, 2016. The command post is manned at all times by two certified emergency actions controllers. Both active-duty and Reserve Airmen operate the Hill Command Post. (U.S. Air Force photo by R. Nial Bradshaw)

Maj. Carol Chang works in the command post at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, Nov. 18, 2016. (U.S. Air Force photo by R. Nial Bradshaw)

Maj. Carol Chang works in the command post at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, Nov. 18, 2016. (U.S. Air Force photo by R. Nial Bradshaw)

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah -- EXERCISE! EXERCISE! EXERCISE!

Team Hill heard these words frequently last month during a weeklong exercise designed to test the ability of base personnel to respond to a variety of emergency scenarios.

For the emergency actions controllers working in the command post here, the exercise may not have been routine but it greatly resembled what they do 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

“We are a 24-hour hub that provides information relay of vital situations that could affect the safety and security of the base to all commanders and base agencies,” said Master Sgt. Jeremy Smith, Hill Command Post superintendent.

Command post specialists ensure base operations and communications run efficiently and effectively under any circumstance by providing command, control, communications and information support.

"The Command Post keeps track of contact information for key personnel, flight-follows aerospace resources, and disseminates weather and emergency information," said Smith.

The command post is also the gatekeeper for critical communications moving into and out of the base.

"The command post up-channels important events and information to higher headquarters, even to the president,” said Smith. “It's the focal point for installation and base commanders who can contact one place to gather any needed information on recent events, emergencies or operational reporting."

The command post is manned at all times by two certified controllers. Both active-duty and Reserve Airmen operate the Hill Command Post.

Using quick-reaction checklists, specialized hotline telephone networks and essential controller judgment, command post personnel use multiple notification systems to inform the base populace of impending situations and recalls.

“Should the command post contact you, that means a situation has occurred or will occur on base that requires your attention,” said Smith. “Our information is for your safety, awareness or approval.”

Respond to all notifications and instructions from the command post immediately and they’ll do the rest. It’s what they do.