What was the Air Force thinking when it decided to take away the identity of the Air Force Communications Command? I was active duty when it was "hacked" into pieces and scattered to the 4 winds. We were proud of our mission and identity. By allowing host commands to absorb communication assets, I along with alot of others stepped into the ranks of the retired. Hope the JCS reads this. You lost alot of good men and women.
I am still proud these many years later, of having been in the Air Force Communications Service. I was proud of my teletype repair in the late sixties and remain as ever proud of it today and even though a slightly different name, the same end result is there, communications. All aspects of the job no matter what the job, without communicators, nothing else could get done. All who have worn, wear or will wear the patch, can know that communicators rule! the patch
I sure wish there were a lot of old Teletype repair techs out there that would join this forum. We seem to be quite absent and I know there were quite a few of us in school. Sheppard was a nice place. I remember a day when an F-4 took off and went what seemed nearly vertical, I watched in awe and the day when three or two (memory escapes me) B-52's took off at the same time and the ground shook. For someone new to the Air Force I was in awe of these things. Sheppard was in a tornado rich area and in '63 or '64 a tonado went through a corner of the base, I was there in '65 so I am an old school but still to this day inm love with the Air Force.
Originally posted by moonwalker58: What was the Air Force thinking when it decided to take away the identity of the Air Force Communications Command? I was active duty when it was "hacked" into pieces and scattered to the 4 winds. We were proud of our mission and identity. By allowing host commands to absorb communication assets, I along with alot of others stepped into the ranks of the retired. Hope the JCS reads this. You lost alot of good men and women.
I feel for all comm people which are under base, unit commands. This has happened over and over again in my years 61-84. Especially for security comm. No one outside of communicators understand special channels necessary for supplies or the priority of which the communicating support.
Are there still ILS and TACAN units? As a Teletype maintenance person, when we had free time, we'd go and help the Radio and Radar maint guys on their chores. We were a fairly small unit and we would help where neded. The one large benefit of that was the Tacan and ILS huts were really cool places to be when the desert was 110 degrees F, the only down side to that was the occasional rattlesnake to deal with. I long for my time in uniform!
I just saw this thread and had to chime in. I was DSTE Maintenance - 30651 - and went through Sheppard in '73-'74. Worked with a lot of teletype folks in the Comm. Centers, as well as straight Crypto and Operators. My first command after tech school was SAC; 380th Bomb Wing HS at Plattsburg. Then on to AFCS at Elmendorf (1931st Comm Gp). Our career field was obsolete by the 1980's I think. I liked AFCS too - it was relief after SAC. We were very focused on our jobs and took pride in keeping the equipment running 24/7. We also managed to have a lot of fun. It was like a family.
Originally posted by 3573933: I just saw this thread and had to chime in. I was DSTE Maintenance - 30651 - and went through Sheppard in '73-'74. Worked with a lot of teletype folks in the Comm. Centers, as well as straight Crypto and Operators. My first command after tech school was SAC; 380th Bomb Wing HS at Plattsburg. Then on to AFCS at Elmendorf (1931st Comm Gp). Our career field was obsolete by the 1980's I think. I liked AFCS too - it was relief after SAC. We were very focused on our jobs and took pride in keeping the equipment running 24/7. We also managed to have a lot of fun. It was like a family.
Good ole DSTE!! I did tech school at Sheppard as well, in 1982. I followed on to Ramstein AB as my first assignment. They had DSTE there for about six months before they went to AFAMPE (Air Force Automated Message Processesing Equipment), which had disc drives (the large pack of platters). That was a MAJOR improvement.
In Sheppard, I had to learn to type on the old Kleinschmidt manual (seemingly 50lb) typewriters. Ah, the good ole days. :-)
The Base Commanders and later "Wing Kings" (The Wing CC wasn't always the Base CC back in the day) hated that a CS or CG CC would deny their wishes due to budget/procurement/common sense constraints. They hated that they didn't "own" the Comm troops. They hated that we paid more attention to DCA regs than their own wishes. They hated that sometimes we would pre-empt a 00 circuit of theirs for a 3C or 2A or whatever during outage/restoral. They hated that all the Comm troops knew who got selected for promotion before they did. (not that anyone working in the Comm Center ever read any incoming messages, or happened to see Sgt or SrA Smith and mistakenly say: "Hey SSgt Smith") They hated that they couldn't get a 4-wire phone with Immediate priority when the NCMO could. They hated us because most of us didn't fly, fix things that fly or fix things that the two previous categories used. (like the chow hall and toilets) They hated us because we were a big happy family that partied together, both officer and enlisted. They hated us because they had to support the troops at our Dets and OLs. They hated that they couldn't take the CIUWF funds from the remote sites and buy more pool tables for playing "carrier landing".
I could probably go on and on but you all ready are thinking WTF is he talking about? What's CIUWF? Pronounce it "sea-wolf". Ask an old AFCS/AFCCer who actually left CONUS.
I was a 304X0/2E1X1 who thouroughly loved my times in AFCS/CC. Especially OCONUS. Was in from '72 to '96.
A lot of units use this as their motto but it has been around forever: "you can talk about us but you can't talk without us".
We need to BS more about AFCS/AFCC on this forum. The good/bad old days.
ol_tangodelta pretty much hit the nail on the head. I think he was being facetious, but "CONTROL" is the bottom-line of how comm units came to be under the operational control of the operational command, rather than AFCC. During one of the major restructures, the folks at Air Staff were swayed enough by the arguments of the operators to break up AFCC and put the comm units under the control of SAC, TAC, MAC, etc. Of course, this effectively put the comm units under the control of the Wing King.
You could probably make good arguments to support either organizational structure.
Dang. I'm glad I got out in 1983. I was a 304X0 and I spent CONUS working on Base and Installation Security Systems on a SAC base or I was TDY at Keesler, home of General Pustay's House of Ill Repute.
The rest of the time I was in Europe working on 30 man comm sites and having to deal with all the big base BS being hundreds of miles away, it was bad enough. I'm glad I didn't stay in for 20. McPeak messed up the AF bad enough.
"Information Systems" started the rot. I never was assigned to a "IS" unit. I was in AFCC OTEC during those dark times. Anytime anybody asked what an "Information System" was, the answer was "A better description!"
Rumor was McPeak did not like having any control over all those comm troops he provided support to while CINCPACAF.
306X3 - Teletype -- 1983-92, I guess they are 2E3-whatevers now. The USAF screwed up in the 90s, but I can't imagine any of that old equipment being around today's PC world. We had cranky old Model 28s still in service in the mid-80s, come on. Also remember the SRT, Model 40, 141, the 129. Always a blast getting called out when some newbie in the Comm Center mis-patched something and Job Control felt they had to open up a job. Then having to hear it from Inside/Outside Plant guys! Hell, don't you guys know teletypes don't screw up circuits, operators do! At Osan 85-86, THE YEAR OF FUN!!! To the 485th EIG at Griffiss AFB from 86-88, went back to Korea, this time at Pilsung Range from 89-90, then they sent me to Loring from there; well, that was the time for me to say bye-bye commo...
Most shops in AFCC always had a stocked fridge and BBQs on Fridays. Didn't care much for stateside assignments though -- give me Korea, the PI, or Japan any day!
304X4 First Air Force Communications Service - then Stepped up to Air Forces Communications Command - then to Information Systems Command. One of the 1st radios I ever worked on in 1973 had a tech order with the last change posted to it in 1952. It was a WWI vintage VHF transmitter. This was at Vandenberg AFB back before the space age.
Hey Gang... I saw all the reminiscing about the "Old Comm Days" and could not help but to chime in. I was a 29150 from 1978 - 1983. I worked in a TGC-28 Van which had Teletypes and a couple of radios (UHF and VHF)if I remember correctly. I went to Sheppard AFB for my tech school. Do any of you remember the HUGE Sperry Univac computer you had to learn on back then? We pulled alot of deployments in the "28 van" and mostly were attached to a radar site to provide communications. Any other 291X0's out there that can chime in???
I can agree with quite a few notes on the Communications Command. I was in comm from 1979 till 1992. I remember the 2002 communications command and then it became something else and something else, really got tired of changing patches all the time, why not just leave it alons..Diane..
Reading the posts brings back memories of putting together 26 Vans. I started out in Teletype Maint. in "84" with the AL Air Guard 225th Combat Comm working on Model 28's and 129's. In "87" I crossed trained to Satellite Comm and was hired full-time in "99". With Tri-Tac going away and TDC coming in I was moved back to the Switch Shop as it was called then. Teletype, Crypto, and Telephone Switch Maint. had been combined into one career field (2E2X1). Now they are merging the Telephone Switch Maint. and Tech Control into a Network Infrastucture Technician. In other words a "Jack-Of-All-Trades". To make matters worse (for me) 6 Combat Comm's in the Air National Guard are being closed by 01 Apr 2008. It sucks!!! Comm takes another hit for more planes.
It's a great find when I see another TTY Maint person here. So rarely does someone show up, maybe we're all too old? I know I've said I loved my job, school and the Air Force and I still wonder where are all the TTY maintainers out there? I was in school in '65 May thru Jan.