403rd Communications Flight keeps wing connected

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Kristen Pittman
  • 403rd Wing Public Affairs

In today’s world, there are not many jobs that do not require some type of computer technology or digital communication.

As Capt. Cortney Tremer, 403rd Communications Flight commander, put it, “Take your computer away from your workspace; what can you get accomplished?” 

The answer, as it relates to the Air Force Reserve, is probably not much other than maybe fitness testing and job training checklists.

But those test scores need to be put into a system to update one’s readiness in order to deploy or promote, and while a physical backup is good to have, an Airman cannot upgrade their Air Force Specialty Code without that checklist being put into and signed off in the Training Business Area using the Air Force Portal website.

All of the Air Force’s technological functions and needs are what makes the 403rd CF so crucial to the Air Force Reserve’s 403rd Wing’s mission.

In a broad sense, Tremer said the flight’s mission is to provide mission assurance through proactive and persistent cyber defense and to recruit, develop, and retain exceptional cyber Airmen who are ready to respond to every challenge, every time.

That’s a tall task for a flight of a couple dozen reservists and civilians in a wing of around 1,400 Airmen.

There are special sections within the flight that work to maintain operability and readiness throughout the wing. 

“We have knowledge management that does all of the Freedom of Information and privacy acts and wing publications, and we have cyber system operators who do system administration with network accounts,” said Tremer. “Our client systems technicians are the backbone as far as fixing broken computer systems and connecting equipment to networks and we have our radio frequency transmission technicians who work with communication systems on the aircraft itself.”

Prior to commissioning as an officer, Tremer served an enlisted role in the flight. She said her original AFSC was in the medical realm, but she was encouraged to make the career move to communications, and she did as a cyber operator.

“I honestly didn’t know anything about computers beyond maybe helping map a printer,” said Tremer, “but the Air Force taught me everything I needed to know, and it has been great.”

Because of the growing demand for tech savvy individuals in the civilian job world, Tremer said joining “comm” and taking advantage of the training offered is a great opportunity and was a large contributing factor in landing her civilian job with the Army Corps of Engineers in Mobile, Alabama.

Tremer mentioned that the flight currently is in need of RF technicians, and also has a full-time Active Guard Reserve position open in knowledge management, and that anyone interested could contact her.

Senior Airman Austin Freeman, a cyber transport apprentice with the 403rd CF, said he finds the career-field very rewarding and that, as a computer science major, the training provided by the Air Force has been helpful.

“We deal with anything related to routers and switches in the communications rooms,” he said. “Also, our section assists with any ports that go down, Ethernet wiring that needs to be taken care of, and handling the management of the switches.”

For the non-technologically minded, switches and ports might not make much sense, but the important thing to take away from what Freeman and his fellow Airmen do is that they enable the accomplishment of every mission within the wing.