JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO–LACKLAND, Texas —
It’s three o’clock in the morning on a weekend and a fire breaks out in one of the facilities at Joint Base San Antonio.
Emergency action controllers in command post determine how the base responds and reacts in emergencies, such as a base fire, and then how to resolve the situation in question.
“We are your 24/7, 365 day point of contact for all of JBSA … and its 266 mission partners," said Master Sgt. Angelina Hinton, 502nd Air Base Wing command post acting superintendent.
“A lot of times we’re the only voice you hear,” adds Staff Sgt. Ashley McGovern, 502nd ABW command post NCO in charge operations training manager.
The group works eight- to 12-hour shifts to support the base operations, which can include managing weather alerts; installations breaches and threats; accidents and other emergencies.
“If something happens at JBSA, we’re going to take care of it,” Hinton said.
Monitoring the weather is important.
“Lightening in five miles of the base is very important for JBSA-Lackland and JBSA-Randolph because of the flight lines,” Hinton added.
Lighting is a danger to the maintainers and pilots working on aircraft and ammo on the flight line and must take cover for their safety.
In addition to the information being pushed out via email, it is also announced on loud speakers situated across all JBSA installations.
Regardless of what kind of emergency situation develops, the information can quickly be dispersed because of command post’s efforts.
“For the majority of the situations that occur, our controllers have quick reaction checklists,” Hinton said.
To keep their skills sharp and to stay mission ready, they also train once a month using various scenarios.
“You have phones ringing,” McGovern said. “You have a possible bomb threat. You have people coming at your door trying to get in. Aircraft trying to depart, land and going on alert; everything that you can think of coming your way.”
There is always at least one controller on duty 24/7 regardless of holidays and weekends with fellow team members standing by to assist by remote laptop or coming in.
“No matter what time of the day or night, we’re always there,” Hinton said.