Can you hear me now?

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Mikaley Towle
  • 99th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
Imagine being on a routine flight, cruising in the spacious sky at 40,000 feet. Everything seems to be proceeding as normal, but in a brief moment, you quickly realize something is wrong.

The smell of smoke slowly creeps its way through the cabin. Panic is palpable in the air. The pilot's voice is laced with tension as he notifies the control tower to prepare for an emergency landing.

On the ground, units such as the 99th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Emergency Services Flight are called to action to assist in a potential crisis. In this dire time, smooth and accurate communication is critical to help ensure the safety of Airmen.

This is where the 99th Communications Squadron land mobile radio maintainers come in.

Land mobile radio is responsible for 156 users on 78 different accounts. Maintaining 3,700 radios gives Nellis AFB one of the largest LMR accounts in Air Combat Command.

According to Staff Sgt. Rashodrick Jackson, 99th CS radio frequency transmissions supervisor, LMR plays a key role in day-to-day operations by receiving and programming radios and adding them to a tracking system.

LMR may maintain the radios; however, individual units are responsible for day-to-day care.

"Each individual unit has a requirement for the radios," said Tech. Sgt. La Nette Berard, 99th CS NCO in charge of radio frequency transmissions. "We help them find what they need and order the radios for them. Then the unit LMR managers pick them up."

LMR provides not only reliable communication but also has the ability to provide peace of mind for users.

"Simply put, without LMRs we could not do our jobs effectively and safety would be compromised," said John Beauchamp, 99th Civil Engineer Squadron acting fire chief. "The 99th Fire Emergency Services Flight's foremost mission is the protection of our airfields, aircraft and our pilot warriors. Our fire trucks could not communicate with the airfield control tower without LMRs which is crippling for firefighter's capability to traverse runways and meet required response times, which could result in mission failure."

In any dire situation, having swift and accurate communication through radios allows units the ability to respond quickly to an unforeseen event. Because of the maintainers in the 99th CS LMR section, all units are able to communicate quickly and efficiently with each other.