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 440th wins 22nd Air Force Large Command Post of the Year award
 Command post is the nerve center of Pope Field
Pope Field Command Post voted best in 22nd Air Force
Senior Master Sgt. Jeffrey Bello, 440th Command Post superintendent, discusses work assignments during shift change with Tech. Sgt. Angela Harris, a senior controller for the 440th Command Post. Recently selected as 22nd Air Force Large Command Post of the Year for 2010, the command post is the central gathering location for information concerning the wing and monitoring of aircraft missions on Pope Field. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jerry Green)
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Command post voted best in 22nd Air Force

Posted 3/20/2011   Updated 4/1/2011 Email story   Print story


by Public Affairs
440th Airlift Wing

3/20/2011 - POPE FIELD, N.C. -- The command post is often called the nerve center, the hub or the nucleus of an installation, and for 22nd Air Force, the 440th Airlift Wing Command Post is hands down, the heartbeat that beats the best.

After the votes were tallied, a winner was declared, and in an announcement made early this month, the command post was named 22nd Air Force Large Command Post of the Year for 2010 for the second time in three years.

The win placed the command post in the running for the overall Air Force Reserve Command competition.

Cited for its ability to monitor and direct the airlift of large troop movements, Pope's command post was graded outstanding.

"This is an outstanding group of controllers in this shop," said Senior Master Sgt. Jeffrey Bello, 440th Command Post superintendent. "We are a combined Reserve and active-duty operation and our team works hard and works together."

The installation command post is the "eyes and ears for the commander" with many functions.

"We are here twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week," said Sergeant Bello. "Anything going on here at Pope Field for information purposes, we follow it."

The command post is responsible for keeping track of daily situations and tracking serious conditions that arise such as aircraft accidents or death.

"Not only do we follow the comings and goings of flights, we handle emergency management and emergency actions."

Pope's command post played a significant role in the Haiti earthquake support mission which contributed greatly to their overall success for the year. Sergeant Bello recalled the effort required to support it.

"When the earthquake hit Haiti and 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg started to deploy, I thought this must be what it is like at O'Hare International Airport, Chicago. This was a very busy place."

"We broke records that had been standing since 1949," he said reflecting on the number of sorties required at the time. "We had no additional manpower to help keep the operations going. Twenty-five percent of all Department of Defense airlift missions came from Pope."

Tech. Sgt. Angela Harris, a senior controller at the 440th Command Post recalls the mission as well.

"We normally work 12-hour shifts anyway, but Haiti was a team effort. We had to cover for each other if one us got sick or had to be at home" she said.

After winning the 22nd Air Force award, the 440th Command Post award package was forwarded to compete for Air Force Reserve Command's Top Command Post of the Year Award where they placed second overall.

Col. Merle Hart, 440th Airlift Wing commander, said he is proud of the combined command post at Pope Field.

"I am proud of our combined command post," said Hart. "We have active-duty and Reserve Airmen working side-by-side on a daily basis. The teamwork and quality of work they produce sets the standard for total force partnerships."

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