Airman's Rapid Response Aids Explosives Removal

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Robert Allen Cooke III
  • 355th Wing Public Affairs

No matter the mission, the dissemination of time-sensitive information is crucial to national security and military readiness. A key function of a base's Command Post is to mitigate emergencies through the distribution of crucial information to supporting agencies.

For U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Cliantha Yasenchack, 355th Wing Command Post command and control operations specialist, the distribution of time-sensitive information is a fundamental part of her job on Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.

“Command Post involves responding to emergency notifications and distributing information as we get it,” Yasenchack said.

A member of the Air National Guard, Yasenchack received an active-duty assignment opportunity at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.

“I am part of the 162nd Air National Guard,” Yasenchack said.Back in April, we received a request from the former superintendent here for a manning assist, so I’ve just been stepping in and helping out.”

A base’s Command Post is in standby mode until they receive a call about an accident or incident. These calls come from various sources, including the Base Defense Operations Center. When the time comes, Command Post personnel run through a checklist of applicable duties before informing leadership of the situation at hand.

“Most of the time, it’s not reportable,” Yasenchack said. “When a situation is reportable, like severe injuries or Aircraft mishaps, we’ve got to draft up a report, get it approved by the commander and send it to higher headquarters or the MAJCOM.”

For reportable situations, the Command Post coordinates with groups like Explosives Ordinance Disposal, or EOD, to contain threats. One particular incident involving the local authorities occurred after Yasenchack stepped into her active-duty role at Davis-Monthan.

“We received a phone call from the Tucson Police Department about explosives on site, brought to their front desk,” said Yasenchack. “We just contacted EOD for them and EOD went out and took care of it.”

Yasenchack’s response, as simple and straightforward as it was, effectively nullified a major threat that day. A few months after the incident, Yasenchack was acknowledged as “Hero of the Game #1” during a Roadrunners hockey game in Tucson for her work ethic and mentorship capabilities.

Still, she remains humble about her work and sees this live-saving extension of her duty as nothing more than another day in the office.

“I’m just doing my job,” Yasenchack said. ‘I don’t really see the significance in such daily activities, but it’s nice to be acknowledged when you are doing a decent job.”

The explosives incident in Tucson wasn’t the first time Yasenchack had to deal with serious threats. Having deployed twice, Yasenchack had to push out notifications for rockets and mortar fire emergencies.

“Going into Alarm Red and Alarm Yellow were the more frightening situations,” Yasenchack said. “Receiving a phone call about a spare grenade showing up at a front desk was like ‘Okay, it’s just another Tuesday.’”

Whether she’s deployed or working to protect her fellow service members at home, Yasenchack continues to use her experience to promote the development of junior Airmen in her shop.

“On the guard side, I am the lowest ranking person Monday through Friday,” said Yasenchack. “Working with a handful of Airmen now is very different from working with Tech Sergeants, Master Sergeants, or Senior Master Sergeants every single day.”

As a member of the 162nd Air National Guard, Yasenchack was grateful for the opportunity to accept the manning assist at Davis-Monthan because her orders were close to falling through. She considers it a huge honor to be stationed at Davis-Monthan to this day.

“I highly recommend any other Guard members taking advantage of such opportunities,” Yasenchack said.