Behind every well-run military operation is a command post that monitors missions and patrols across the globe. This post is known as a tactical operations center.
And behind one of the most successful centers in Afghanistan right now is Windsor native and Air Force Senior Airman Corey Wiemers. Wiemers is an airfield systems technician who works closely with a diverse team of three others to relay mission and patrols’ communications across the region to leaders of the Zabul Provincial Reconstruction Team — a group tasked with heading major parts of the country’s rebuilding efforts.
The team of four has a range of specialities including a vehicle operations and bioenvironmental engineering. While the group monitors the daily happenings and long-term planning, it’s also a defense center for force protection.
“These are the hardest working Air Force members in the entire PRT,” said U.S. Army Capt. Douglas Wercinski, who helps to oversee the operation. “They work 12 hours a day, and their performance continues to impress me.”
Getting to the specialty wasn’t easy and required more than three months of communications and command and control training before shipping off to Afghanistan.
“We took Air Force members from different careers, and through a lot of repetition of battle drills, checklist modifications and discussions on what we can do better the next time, we created an extremely professional and well-run TOC,” Wercinski said.
Workloads vary during what can be long days of communications and message relays, but the crew keeps an eye out for more than just tactical projects — they keep life interesting in what can sometimes be a trying and dangerous work area.
“A sense of humor is definitely needed in this environment,” said Wiemers, who was deployed from the 82nd Communications Squadron, Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas. “Keeping it light gives your mind a break from the stress that this job entails. Our group laughs a lot.”
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