Alabama Air Guard Comm Team Connects in Tenn.

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Carlos J. Claudio
  • 192nd FW Public Affairs
When you need an internet signal at home to access the world wide web you call a local provider and they bring cable or a satellite, when the 280th Combat Communications Squadron sets up an internet signal they bring a GATR (Ground Antenna Transmit and Receive).

GATR is a tan colored, inflatable, 7-foot sphere-like satellite that sits on the ground at a slight angle and is currently being used at Martin Middle School in Martin, Tenn., July 15 in support of the "Hope of Martin" community outreach project, an Air National Guard-led joint training medical Innovative Readiness Training (IRT) mission.

"We provide the main data-link for the joint team here in Tennessee that includes approximately 130 service members from the Air National Guard, Army, Navy, and Navy Reserve," said Master Chad W. White, Alabama Air National Guard, Telecommunications-Radio Frequency Specialist. "If it has any anything to do with communications, we handle it."

The Alabama Air National Guard has a ten-member communications team that offers twenty-four hour a day customer service and also safeguards all data systems by manning the equipment all the time.

Not only does the Air Guard unit deliver internet access, they are also a one-stop-shop for land mobile radios and non-classified Internet Protocol (IP) Router Network (NIPRNet) and when required, they offer secure telephones and Secret Internet Protocol Router Network (SIPRNet).

Airman First Class Coleton Barberree, 280th CS Radio Frequency Transmissions Specialist, said this is his first time working with other military services and he is acquiring knowledge. "Right now I'm learning to work with other branches of the military, their rank systems and also learning about their jobs while they're here on this medical mission," said Barberree.

The IRT program is designed to train U.S. military medical personnel and provide assistance to underserved communities. As of July 15, 2013, the total mission visiting patients is 2429. General procedures performed: 5672. Glasses prescribed: 835. Total value of care: $407, 685.