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Comm: Connecting Airmen during COVID-19

Tech. Sgt. Alexandra Campbell, 926th Force Support Squadron, communications flight chief, assists Robert Wyatt, 926th Wing lead defense travel administrator, with computer issues at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, April, 6, 2020.

Tech. Sgt. Alexandra Campbell, 926th Force Support Squadron, communications flight chief, assists Robert Wyatt, 926th Wing lead defense travel administrator, with computer issues at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, April, 6, 2020.

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. --

Airmen deemed to be mission essential during COVID-19 come from a wide range of job specialties. Many are evident every day: medical, flight line and security. While all are vital, not all are as apparent.

For Tech. Sgt. Alexandra Campbell, 926th Force Support Squadron, communications flight chief, ensuring the capability for 926th Wing members to successfully telework has been an endless behind the scenes task since maximum telework began.

While Campbell is able to do some work from home, most of her duties have made working from the office inevitable.

“Even though I’m using the new desktop anywhere it’s limited as an administrator, so I have to be physically at work for most things, like installing customer’s VPNs [virtual private network],” she said.

Campbell has been working continuously to identify all 926th WG members’ communications needs and support them in an unprecedented work environment.

“Since the crisis began she has been deciphering information into clear and intelligible directions to help every Airmen have access at home,” said Maj. Brandon Lewis, 926th FSS commander. “They are keeping up, but it’s been a struggle.”

In the first three weeks following the mass migration to telework, Campbell processed over 25 iPads and more than 40 laptops for members working from home.

“We started with limited IT equipment to support those mission essential and teleworking personnel,” said Campbell. “However, with the new desktop anywhere from Air Force Reserve Command people are able to do all their work from their home computer without being issued a government laptop.”

Although Campbell and Tech. Sgt. Joey Panado, noncommissioned officer in charge of the communications focal point, are in the office Monday through Friday, Campbell stresses the need to make an appointment.

Comm issues that could be fixed by simply dropping into the shop prior to COVID-19 now have the potential to put Campbell and Panado at risk.

“We are putting ourselves in danger when we expose ourselves to people who we don’t know their level of exposure to COVID-19,” said Campbell. “I want our people to know we are here and open, but we need to minimize exposure.”

Currently the office is open by appointment Monday - Friday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. They can also be reached at 702-652-9712.

“Most of the people we are helping now are over the phone,” Campbell said. “The influx of VPN users and questions of desktop anywhere are now the bulk of our work.”

For an appointment please send an email to the comm org box at 926cfp@us.af.mil.