Teamwork is the recipe for success

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Joubert Leon
  • 1st Combat Communications Squadron
I am a voice systems journeyman assigned to the 1st Combat Communications Squadron on Ramstein. My duties include operating and maintaining tactical communications equipment such as a deployable telephone switch called a Basic Access Module and a Global Broadcast System. I recently returned from a deployment that forced me to step out of my communications comfort zone and threw me into the world of force protection. 

My deployment took me to Iraq. I was tasked to work with security forces as a force protector. You may be asking yourself, "What exactly does a force protector do?" Rest assured, I was asking myself that very question. I quickly learned that my role as a force protector gave me the responsibility of escorting local nationals on base in order to ensure safety and security of U.S. forces and the installation on which they were working. At first this may seem like a small task, but when you consider daily there was an average of 500 local nationals who require escorting, it is apparent how consuming our job was. 

Because of training in my unit's Combat Readiness Course, I felt confident that I was well prepared to add five months worth of down-range security forces work to my résumé. As it turned out, I was well prepared, but for a very different reason. The greatest thing I learned from the deployment is that no matter what your career field is, there are many similarities in how we go about getting our job done. In talking with fellow deployed members, the single biggest common theme was the need for a solid foundation in teamwork. Just as setting up deployed communications at a remote location requires all the offices in my flight to work together, to be successful at protecting the base, we had to work as a team from the very beginning. Looking back, it is easy to see why teamwork has always been stressed from the first day of basic training, tech school and at all three of my Air Force assignments. Teamwork gets the mission accomplished.