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One base one command post

Staff Sgt. Childers handles the flow of information to and from higher headquaters and delivers vital command messages to Hill Airmen.  "If an accident happens, our reports go straight to Air Force commanders or even the President," Sergeant Childers said. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Senior Airman Daniel Durbin)

Staff Sgt. Childers handles the flow of information to and from higher headquaters and delivers vital command messages to Hill Airmen. "If an accident happens, our reports go straight to Air Force commanders or even the President," Sergeant Childers said. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Senior Airman Daniel Durbin)

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah -- You may not know they exist, but the men and women of the Hill Air Force Base Consolidated Command Post control the information that makes the Air Force work and affects Airmen every day.

Staff Sgt. Cherelyn Childers, of the 419th Fighter Wing, knows that well enough. As part of her job as a command Post Controller, she is responsible for relaying all messages to and from top brass from the Pentagon, as well as delivering command messages to Team Hill Airmen. 

"We are the nerve center of the base," Sergeant Childers said. "We coordinate information to and from higher headquarters."

A busy workday may mean a challenging and more interesting day for some Airmen, but for Sergeant Childers, a busy day is usually not a good thing.

"A busy day is usually a bad day," said Sergeant Childers. "It could be a casualty, it could be a change in force protection conditions, or it could mean a war is starting."

Senior Master Sgt. Sara Drake, the Command Post Superintendent, said that Sergeant Childers' job and others in her career field have been made temporarily more complicated by a new Air Force initiative mandating there be only one command post per base.

Sergeant Drake said that the 419th FW command post merged with the 75th Air Base Wing command post right after the April unit training assembly. The merger made perfect sense for Sergeant Drake, who is down to a staff of five reservists after some recent deployments, while the active duty side maintains 25 full-time command post technicians.

"We pressed forward with combining the command posts," said Drake. "We'll be side by side, one command post." The single command post concept will reshape the command post career field, said Sergeant Drake.

"It allows the base to have one point of contact," said Sergeant Drake.

The challenge of the command post career field is working with Air Force top brass, and the high expectations of the commanders, said Sergeant Drake.

"It feels like I'm back in the active duty," Sergeant Childers joked. "It's fun, there's a very good group of people over there."