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55th Strategic Communications Squadron receives top-level awards

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. (AFNS) -- The men and women of the 55th Strategic Communications Squadron recently learned that their dedication to excellence was about to be awarded with the Defense Information Systems Agency's top award.

With 11 categories, each offering a different type of support, the 55th SCS was awarded the Category IX, Defense Satellite Communications System, or DSCS, and Wideband Global Satellite Earth Terminal Facility of the Year for 2013. The global award is DISA's top-level award across all services.

"I am actually not surprised with this award to the DSCS Facility team," said Col. Jeffrey Granger, the 55th Communications Group commander. "They are one of the most focused, organized, compliance-driven work centers I've ever encountered."

The Offutt Earth Terminal Facility houses two DSCS terminals. The terminals take user data, such as telephone, computer, etc., process it and send it to the satellite for reception at another earth terminal in any area of the earth the satellite can see.

"They know their mission, their customers, and their jobs to amazing breadth and depth," Granger said. "This award validates their sustained excellence."

As it turns out, the DISA Category IX is not the only top-level award the 55th SCS was awarded for their accomplishments in 2013. The squadron also discovered that their high-frequency global communication system was awarded the Outstanding Global Information Grid Facility, or Category VIII, Global Award for 2013.

The radio system is a three-site high frequency communication system at two locations that permits point-to-point and ground-to-air-to-ground communications by voice, continuous wave and data. Three separate sites control, transmit and receive up to 14 four-kilowatt solid state radio transmitters, 18 radio receivers and associated equipment.

"This is a tremendous honor for our squadron," said Lt. Col. Scott Stevens, the 55th SCS commander. "I am very proud of my guys and their outstanding efforts they put in every day to ensure that we are providing the best possible service to our worldwide customers."

The 55th SCS have achieved many accomplishments, such as a 99.99 percent uptime rate for the past 104 months on two earth terminals and 99.99 percent availability rate at 13 high frequency sites worldwide.

"Even with all of today's technological advances, the technology does not mean anything without the hard work and dedication of our civilian and military team members striving for a common goal to accomplish our mission the best way we know how," Stevens said.

The mission of the 55th SCS is to provide real-time, secure, nuclear survivable missile warning and command, control and communications capabilities in support of the Defense Department, U.S. Strategic Command and the 55th Wing.

"This capability is vital to our national-level command and control and nuclear command and control, and the team excels at this no-fail mission," Granger said. "It has been amazing to watch technologies and processes for global high frequency shrink what was a detachment of 150 Airmen ... to a small team of a dozen Airmen, with no reduction in quality of service. It took this team, with their skills, compliance and commitment to make this transition so successful."

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