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CST Airmen Keep Yokota Connected

Senior Airman Shawn Clark, 374th Communications Squadron Operations Flight client systems technician journeyman, verifies the correct port while performing a phone swap at Yokota Air Base, Japan, April 5, 2018.

Senior Airman Shawn Clark, 374th Communications Squadron Operations Flight client systems technician journeyman, verifies the correct port while performing a phone swap at Yokota Air Base, Japan, April 5, 2018. The 374th CS OS handles installations, troubleshooting and replacement of computers, phones and other devices for all of Yokota. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Matthew Gilmore)

Airman 1st Class Andrews De Leon, 374th Communications Squadron Operations Flight client systems technician apprentice, prepares to image a laptop at Yokota Air Base, Japan, April 4, 2018.

Airman 1st Class Andrews De Leon, 374th Communications Squadron Operations Flight client systems technician apprentice, prepares to image a laptop at Yokota Air Base, Japan, April 4, 2018. The imaging process entails installing the correct version of operating system, software, security software, and system settings prior to being installed in a workplace. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Matthew Gilmore)

Staff Sgt. Justin Raymond Minimo, 374th Communications Squadron Operations Flight client systems technician craftsman, prepares an Ethernet cable for a clip at Yokota Air Base, Japan, April 4, 2018.

Staff Sgt. Justin Raymond Minimo, 374th Communications Squadron Operations Flight client systems technician craftsman, prepares an Ethernet cable for a clip at Yokota Air Base, Japan, April 4, 2018. The 374th CS OS handles installations, troubleshooting and replacement of computers, phones and other devices for all of Yokota. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Matthew Gilmore)

Airman 1st Class Andrews De Leon, 374th Communications Squadron Operations Flight client systems technician apprentice, removes excess wire prior to attaching a clip at Yokota Air Base, Japan, April 4, 2018.

Airman 1st Class Andrews De Leon, 374th Communications Squadron Operations Flight client systems technician apprentice, removes excess wire prior to attaching a clip at Yokota Air Base, Japan, April 4, 2018. The 374th CS OS handles installations, troubleshooting and replacement of computers, phones and other devices for all of Yokota. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Matthew Gilmore)

Airman 1st Class Andrews De Leon, 374th Communications Squadron Operations Flight client systems technician apprentice, attaches a clip to the end of an Ethernet cable at Yokota Air Base, Japan, April 4, 2018.

Airman 1st Class Andrews De Leon, 374th Communications Squadron Operations Flight client systems technician apprentice, attaches a clip to the end of an Ethernet cable at Yokota Air Base, Japan, April 4, 2018. The 374th CS OS handles installations, troubleshooting and replacement of computers, phones and other devices for all of Yokota. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Matthew Gilmore)

Senior Airman Amy Kristoffersen, 374th Communications Squadron Operations Flight client systems technician journeyman, opens up the side of a printer prior to performing a printer swap at Yokota Air Base, Japan, April 4, 2018.

Senior Airman Amy Kristoffersen, 374th Communications Squadron Operations Flight client systems technician journeyman, opens up the side of a printer prior to performing a printer swap at Yokota Air Base, Japan, April 4, 2018. The 374th CS OS handles installations, troubleshooting and replacement of computers, phones and other devices for all of Yokota. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Matthew Gilmore)

Senior Airman Amy Kristoffersen, 374th Communications Squadron Operations Flight client systems technician journeyman, performs some cable management prior to completing a printer swap at Yokota Air Base, Japan, April 4, 2018.

Senior Airman Amy Kristoffersen, 374th Communications Squadron Operations Flight client systems technician journeyman, performs some cable management prior to completing a printer swap at Yokota Air Base, Japan, April 4, 2018. The 374th CS OS handles installations, troubleshooting and replacement of computers, phones and other devices for all of Yokota. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Matthew Gilmore)

Senior Airman Amy Kristoffersen, 374th Communications Squadron Operations Flight client systems technician journeyman, verifies system setting prior to completing a printer swap at Yokota Air Base, Japan, April 4, 2018.

Senior Airman Amy Kristoffersen, 374th Communications Squadron Operations Flight client systems technician journeyman, verifies system setting prior to completing a printer swap at Yokota Air Base, Japan, April 4, 2018. The 374th CS OS handles installations, troubleshooting and replacement of computers, phones and other devices for all of Yokota. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Matthew Gilmore)

Senior Airman Shawn Clark, 374th Communications Squadron Operations Flight client systems technician journeyman, attempts to turn on a computer while troubleshooting at Yokota Air Base, Japan, April 5, 2018.

Senior Airman Shawn Clark, 374th Communications Squadron Operations Flight client systems technician journeyman, attempts to turn on a computer while troubleshooting at Yokota Air Base, Japan, April 5, 2018. The 374th CS OS handles installations, troubleshooting and replacement of computers, phones and other devices for all of Yokota. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Matthew Gilmore)

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Reliance. Reliance on our computers, our networks, our phones. Without them communication suffers, ideas and information we expect to be shared instantly stumble right in front of us. As an Air Force we rely on our technology to complete our mission.

When it comes to maintaining your communication needs, the Airmen from the 374th Communications Squadron Operations Flight at Yokota Air Base, Japan, are the individuals trained to solve your issues quickly and efficiently.

“Communications, whether through the network, phones or teleconference, is incredibly important, not just for leadership, but for collaboration and decision making throughout the chain of command,” said Senior Airman Shawn Clark, 374th CS OF client systems technician journeyman.

“Our shop directly impacts the end user. The individual who actually uses the computer, phone, or any device. When those devices fail or go down, communication stops right there, it leaves the user frustrated and unable to perform to their full capability.”

Whether there is an issue that requires fixing or before any new device is provided to an end user, it passes through the hands of the CST Airmen.

“Before any new equipment is installed in the workplace it must come through our Imaging Lab,” said Clark. “As a team we verify that each machine has the correct version of operating system, security software and correct settings before we give it to our clients.”

Once each device has been imaged for use, CST’s will handle not only the installation but any future issues via the ticket system. A system which requires the CST Airmen to be out in the field on a routine basis.

“My favorite part of being a CST is that I do get to go out and handle installations or tickets on site,” said Senior Airman Amy Kristoferrsen, 374th CS OF client systems technician journeyman. “We have the opportunity to go out and see new work centers, meet new people, and develop a better understanding of the role others play at Yokota. We get to be the face of our squadron’s customer service.”

With each ticket differing and locations varying, CST Airmen have to deal with a fresh set of problems that rarely require the same solution.

“Our day to day is never the same,” said Clark. “A ticket might be the exact same situation I solved the day before yet require a completely different solution, that is just how technology works. A great thing about this though is that it really inspires creativity in our problem solving. As a flight, we aim to solve the root cause of the issue.”

The challenges of finding the answers alone has helped create a culture where the Airmen of the 374th CS OF have learned to rely on one another and work as a team to keep Yokota connected.

“We all love the problem solving aspect, it is why we love our jobs so much,” said Clark. “What makes our shop so great is we work so well together to not only fix things but try to make them more efficient.

“We are lucky enough to be an extremely tight knit group, not just our flight but across the entire squadron. While the base relies on us to maintain communications, we rely on each other to get that job done. We just have such a strong sense of comradery. It really feels great to be a part of such an amazing team.”