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NEWS | May 29, 2021

340th FTG IT team earns 'On the Spot Award' recognition

By Tim Gantner 340th Flying Training Group Public Affairs

There's a one-two punch for the 340th Flying Training Group.

It all started when Master Sgt. Melissa Klinksiek overheard Master Sgt. Christian Delgado having a conversation about providing communication support for the commanders' summit.

"I happened to hear the phone call, and I let him know my spouse lives in the area, and I can assist with setting up,"  Klinksiek said.

Klinksiek and Delgado are the hidden assets that run the 340th FTG communications mission. Unlike other years, their expertise would be at the forefront of this year's summit.

The commanders' summit took place in Fredericksburg, Texas, at the Hangar Hotel, April 19 and 20. The summit happens twice a year, but due to COVID-19, guest briefers could not attend. Klinksiek and Delgado stepped into the spotlight, determined to provide the correct video capabilities for the summit.

"Melissa and Christian knocked it out of the park," said Col. Brent Drown. "We've had video conferencing capability in the building forever, but for the first time ever, to go off station and make that capability possible is greatly appreciated."

The commanders' summit brings together leaders and senior staff members from the group headquarters and all seven squadrons to discuss concerns and share notes; it's an opportunity to get out of their bubbles and come together to plan for the bigger picture, Drown explained.

The IT duo teamed up on Sunday, April 18, to set up video equipment, tested all the connections, and ensured communication would not be hindered.

Delgado said they were still uncertain if there would be issues on the first day. "Klinksiek volunteered to be there and provide communication support, which allowed me to support the members at the office building."

The biggest challenge facing the communications team was the internet connection at the Hangar hotel, but they set up redundant systems to keep everything running like magic. Their hard work paid off, and the summit didn't experience technical issues. As a result of their go-get-the-job-done attitude, the summit was a success.

"We just do our jobs every day; it's nice to get recognized," Klinksiek said.

"Providing the support needed to accomplish the mission makes me feel like I'm out on the front lines," Delgado added.

The "On the Spot Award" is presented to highlight exceptional performance. Klinksiek's and Delgado's complete communication mastery and laser-like focus ensured guest briefers and other invitees could attend without issue. The evidence of success is irrefutable. Despite the pandemic and coordinating at multiple locations, the IT team was recognized for their contributions to the group.