SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --
Imagine if ground-based command centers were no longer to command, especially when there is a need to direct bombers and missileers are needed to take some sort of action with the country’s nuclear arsenal.
If such a scenario was to take place, a system is in place to make sure those assets are still able to be deployed through the U.S. Strategic Command’s Airborne Command Post, a flying conglomerate of specialists who can continue to command, control and communicate should the need arise.
One of Sheppard Air Force Base’s own, Staff Sgt. Megan Sullivan, has been chosen to be part of the flying command post.
“I am very excited. Not a lot of Airmen in my career field get this opportunity,” the 82nd Training Wing Command Post NCO in charge of training said. “This is that one special duty that command post controllers aspire to because you get to fly.”
The airborne command post, according to a fact sheet, is flown on an E-6B and is loaded with high-tech communication equipment and a highly-trained crew and staff that ensure that it is always ready to direct bombers and missiles, should ground-based command centers become inoperable. It provides continuous command, control, and communications.
Sullivan said this opportunity will allow her to see another part of the “big Air Force picture.”
“It’s always interesting to see how the Air Force works in different areas, such as here and how the students get prepped to go operational,” she said. “I can’t wait to see how (US)STRATCOM fits into the big picture.”
The USSTRATCOM mission is to employ a multitude of Air Force capabilities to deter aggression, respond if deterrence fails, assure allies, shape adversary behavior, defeat terror, and define the force of the future.
Master Sgt. Kalub Chavez, 82nd TRW CP superintendent, said he is confident in Sullivan’s abilities and expects that to show during this special duty.
“She is a wealth of knowledge, information and experience which I am sure that she will do phenomenal on the national platform,” he said. “It’s a close-knit environment in the alert mission and I think that she will fit in very well and they will greatly benefit from having her there.”
Chavez said that he is excited to see what opportunities lay ahead for Sullivan, and although the unit is losing a superb NCO, the career field is gaining one somewhere else.
While she is excited about the opportunity, Sullivan said it is bittersweet as Sheppard Air Force Base has become home for her.
“I’m really going to miss Sheppard and Texas. This is the first place I really felt at home and everyone is so friendly,” she said. “I have a really good team here and they’re going to be missed.”