The little unit that could

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Aaron Norfleet
  • 56th Communications Squadron
There is a relatively small, unknown building at Luke Air Force Base across the street from the base library. It houses nearly 50 individuals who make up a team of dedicated hard-working bats. These aren't your run of the mill Chiroptera (Greek for bat). These are 56th Communications Squadron "Comm-Bats."

Inside the walls of Bldg. 122 resides the very heart of Luke's communications. From infrastructure, client systems technicians and personal wireless communications systems to the behind-the-scenes efforts of the communications focal point, network operations and automated data processing equipment. This one-story building packs a mighty, Thunderbolt punch that keeps work at Luke running smoothly and jets flying high.

The impressive lineup of folks at the 56th CS has a unique set of skills that make meeting the mission a lot easier. The infrastructure section is primarily responsible for management, installation and maintenance of Luke's computer network infrastructure. To put it in layman terms, if Luke AFB had a body, the infrastructure department would be the backbone that supports and stabilizes base operations. This paves the way for client systems technicians who manage and maintain the hardware and software that you use every day. From sending reports and base-wide information to posting a status on Facebook, the primary way of communicating across the base is enabled through this team. 

Next we have the personal wireless communications systems section. Their mission is to maintain and monitor the Enterprise Land Mobile Radio Trunking System for Luke and maintaining the dispatch communication interface devices for the fire department, security forces, command post and maintenance operation control center.
PWCS is the sustaining force over the radio, while the communications focal point is the gatekeeper for all things communication related, from dispatching tickets, tracking network outages, network account management and initial customer service. CFP is the middle man between the base and all things COMM.

Another group that has major impact on the base is network operations. They monitor and patch vulnerabilities on the network, run network scans, and have insight into all the servers on base and their vulnerabilities. This invaluable section also runs the backup servers and manages the file share for the base. Network operations house Luke's only local registration authority on base. Last but definitely not least is automated data processing equipment. They oversee all base wide information technology assets and train unit level equipment custodians to properly maintain and track their IT assets.

The Airmen, commanders, civilians and units affected by the 56th CS know the great service they provide every day to keep the Air Force mission going strong.