271st Combat Comm wins championship, improves readiness at total force training event Published June 11, 2023 By Tech. Sgt. Tony Harp 193rd Special Operations Wing MIDDLETOWN, Pa. -- MIDDLETOWN, Pa. – The 271st Combat Communication Squadron recently increased their operational readiness – and took home a championship title – while participating in the 2023 Expeditionary Combat Communication roundup April 22-May 6 at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia. This exercise allowed 19 Airmen from the squadron to showcase their proficiency in utilizing agile combat employment concepts to provide essential communications support. First Lt. John Ricords, 271st CBCS officer in charge of plans and support flight, said the Airmen underwent intensive training that tested their ability to deploy rapidly and establish critical communication links in austere and challenging environments. The training emphasized the importance of flexibility, adaptability and efficiency in delivering effective combat communication. Squadron members honed their skills in setting up and operating mobile communication systems, ensuring seamless connectivity in even the most demanding scenarios. The training encompassed a wide range of tasks, including establishing tactical networks, troubleshooting equipment malfunctions, and reacting to hostile actions. Ricords said another benefit of this training was being able to host actual customers on their network, providing communications support to the command-and-control element running the exercise. Fifteen combat communications squadrons participated in the training, which allowed for cross-organizational support and communication. “We also had a good opportunity to work with some of our sister combat comm units in the Guard as well as active duty, so we did get to collaborate, share some information and troubleshoot real-world problems together,” said Ricords. Ricords added that what set this training apart was the integration of agile combat employment – or ACE – concepts, which emphasizes the ability to rapidly reposition and disperse resources to maintain operational continuity in a contested environment. By incorporating ACE principles into their training, the squadron members gained valuable experience in adapting their communication capabilities to changing circumstances and locations In addition to the training, Ricords said there was a competition element for the 2023 XCOMM championship. Amongst the 15 combat communication squadrons represented in the training, five teams were created and competed for the championship. The 271st CBCS teamed with the 86th Communications Squadron and 23rd Special Tactics Squadron to win the competition and secure the title. Teams were evaluated on establishing initial comms and reacting to various injects and hostile actions. There was also a physical portion that included an obstacle course. “We have people who are highly trained and qualified from the civilian side, and they can show up to an active-duty base and beat active duty at their own game. It goes to show the hard work, dedication and commitment Guardsmen have,” Ricords said.