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Comm squadron plays 'Santa'

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Vanessa Dale
  • 314th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
      Communications project managers -- also known as C4 systems planners -- are the "go-to" shop for installation of new communications equipment including telephones, computers, communication rooms and more. The requirements are sent in all levels, to include major command. CPMs secure funds for the project, ensure anyone coming from another location has their billeting and travel arrangements taken care of and schedule the agencies involved. 
      Before engaging in the installation process, CPMs exercise careful coordination and planning. They utilize maps and charts to avoid interfering with another project or separate on-going operations. 
      "Every project is different, and we ensure everything runs smoothly," said Staff Sgt. Dwayne Harrell, 314th Communications Squadron project manager. Considering the scope of responsibility for a CPM, a six-week tech school might seem abbreviated. However, according to Sergeant Harrell, because every task is different, most of the training is received on the job. 
      "You could be in technical school for your entire career if the curriculum included teaching you everything you could possibly encounter in this job as a CPM," he said.            
      "Every day, I learn something new, whether it is CE policies I didn't
know before...there is always something new." 
      CPMs analyze each project to make sure not to buy the top-dollar version of a product when the mission could be successfully completed with a regular version. 
      "It is a way to help save money," added Sergeant Harrell. Given the Air Force's current budgetary constraints, cost-saving practices have proven to be a necessity. According to Sergeant Harrell, whether providing telephone or computer equipment, CPMs are thought of as the gift-givers of the squadron. 
      "We are considered the 'Santa Claus' of the Communications Squadron. People send us their requirements, and a couple of months or years later -- depending on the project -- we give them a gift."