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Team Phoenix rises to the challenge

  • Published
  • By Julie Svoboda
  • 82nd Training Wing Public Affairs

Team Phoenix, the 82nd Communications Squadron, continues to lead the way as they work to provide seamless, secure voice and data connections here while reducing trouble ticket resolution times and educating network users about cyber security.

Although Team Phoenix prides itself on nearly undetectable accomplishments such as communications projects like the seamless network upgrades and certification of the Voice over IP telephones, recent actions by the team brought their mission to the forefront. Proactive initiatives like the Phoenix Support Team, which travels to work centers on Tuesdays and Thursdays to provide on-the-spot fixes and user education reduced trouble tickets, improved user knowledge of systems and processes, and increased overall efficiency. The team also increased cyber awareness through weekly emails to all base users and a phishing exercise that showed nearly a quarter of users would click a suspicious link.

The project with the largest impact was supporting tech training transformation by delivering a learning connectivity solution to roughly 70% of the base.

“Team Phoenix were instrumental in transforming utilization, support and security of virtual and augmented reality technologies within the Air Force, significantly enhancing both technical training and fighter pilot training programs,” said Maj. Connor McKown, Commander 82nd Communications Squadron. “Each day the team diligently secures and maintains over 1,000 devices ensuring that Airmen from the 82nd Training Wing and 80th Flying Training Wing are fully prepared to be combat ready. In support of T3, we delivered learning connectivity to essentially 262 unique areas that includes dorms, classrooms, indoor and outdoor locations, enabling the largest base level T3 virtual and augmented reality portfolio in Second Air Force.”

Moving at the speed of emerging technology means walking a thin line between innovation and security, requiring the 82nd CS to take deep dives into proposals to ensure the solution meets the needs of the customer.

“Our main goal as a squadron is to do the best by the customer,” said 2nd Lt. Brian Stone, Cyber Operations Officer in Charge. “So, it usually is not necessarily a ‘yes or no,’ it's kind of like a ‘what's best for you.’ And so, they'll come and bring their ideas to us, then it's our job to do our research on the back end and let them know we might have found a better solution that better is fit towards their needs. A good example is our learning connectivity solution. Sheppard is different than any other base in the MAJCOM, because we'd like to tailor projects towards our needs as a wing. We're all about doing what's right for a specific customer.”

Whether they are enhancing Sheppard’s operational capabilities, safeguarding personal identifiable information or improving service delivery, Team Phoenix is up to the challenge.

“We have some of the smartest Airmen here within this squadron,” said Master Sgt. David Hill, 82nd CS Flight Chief. “We have Airmen who are dedicating their free time learning to script to see how they can make things faster here on this base. We've got Airmen who are leading Team Phoenix “Out and Abouts” and going out there to be the face of the Comm Squadron and just getting it right whenever they're out there. We have Airmen that are just going above and beyond what you would expect from somebody within a Comm Squadron.”