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Otis Unit Receives Red Cross award 
By Evan C. Lagasse, 102nd Intelligence Wing Public Affairs 

- The 267th Combat Communications Squadron received the 2008 Cape Cod and Islands Red Cross Hero Award in the category of “Military/Community Service” at the 7th Annual Heroes Breakfast, March 6, in Hyannis, Mass.

“The 267th CBCS…has played an instrumental role supporting the United States Air Force and their Air Expeditionary Force rotations from September 2007 through January 2008. Twenty-five Airmen assigned to the 267th CBCS deployed to Balad and Kirkuk Air Bases, Iraq. They led and augmented teams of deployed combat communicators providing mission critical command and control communications and warfighting support, to not only the Air Force but also the Joint and Coalition Teams determined to win today’s’ fight on the Global War on Terrorism,” said Maj. Christopher Willander, 267th Combat Communications Squadron detachment commander.

A few of the endeavors included in their official award nomination letter for the 267 CBCS were providing a rapid response capability to the Cape and Islands communities and others with a reliable interoperable communications system to support domestic and homeland security emergencies. In 2008, Airmen of the 267 CBCS deployed personnel in support of the Independence Day celebration in Boston, the Boston Marathon and the Falmouth Road Race. Critical communication capabilities provided to civil support personnel greatly enhanced public safety through a Joint Incident Site Communications Capability System. The unit’s JISCC included personnel, power generators, portable shelters, heating and air conditioners, portable laptop computers, telephones and Land Mobile Radios which delivered interoperable and seamless communications aiding efforts to various first responders and civil agencies. These communications capabilities allowed first responders and civilian agencies to have instant access to critical information, providing services to include internet, video, teleconference, telephone and portable radio communications.

As 2008 came to a close, the 267 CBCS already had a lengthy list of accomplishments; however, their services were called on once again after a devastating ice storm wreaked havoc on various locations throughout New England, leaving tens of thousands of homes and businesses without power while the winter holidays quickly approached. True to form, the Airmen of the 267th CBCS answered the call, helping to establish a Massachusetts Air National Guard communications command response center to coordinate mutual aid in helping to restore electrical power to more than 60,000 Massachusetts residents. The unit’s actions gained nation-wide attention in being able to deploy these new communications technologies in support of real time emergency events.