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Inside the 908th: Client Systems Technicians

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Juliana Todd
  • 908th Airlift Wing

Communication is key in any setting, especially when that setting is your workplace.

Airmen rely on communication. Whether exchanging emails or making phone calls, sending and receiving information is vital to accomplishing the mission. To keep information flowing, Airmen in the communications career field are trained in various specialties to best handle increasing demands.

Client Systems Technicians (Air Force Specialty Code 3D1X1) implement and sustain networks and systems through diagnosing, troubleshooting and repairing software or hardware. CSTs also facilitate security networks, administer updates and upgrades, and validate organizational accounts.

Capt. Michael Farris, the 908th Force Support Squadron's operations officer, supervises and supports the 908 FSS’s communications section by coordinating, prioritizing and resolving requests from various units throughout the 908th Airlift Wing.

“The biggest problem that we have in any enterprise is when there are miscommunications,” he said. “If you are unable to communicate your intent or get feedback from the recipient, then it is liable to cause major problems for any operation or mission.”

Additionally, CSTs manage the influx of help tickets, document service requests and restore equipment like printers, phones, land mobile radios and encrypted devices to keep units operating smoothly.

Tech. Sgt. Siedrick Orozco, a CST with the 908 FSS, believes that solving users’ problems is the most challenging yet rewarding aspect of his job.

“My job is to ensure everyone has accessibility to their form of communication,” he said. “Whether that is getting them connected to the network or keeping their electronics up to date, once I resolve that task, it’s worthwhile because I gained experience from it while also improving someone’s day.”

Similar to other jobs in the Air Force, a typical day for CST can vary. Some days they are assisting users with regaining account access, deleting accounts for out-processing, or installing new operating systems to ensure maximum productivity. At other times, they could be monitoring the dissemination of classified information, implementing corrective security measures, providing technical solutions for web performance or fixing the internet because servers went down. 

“We are the first line of defense in the face of communications,” said Staff Sgt. Forest Andersen, another CST in the section. “If you have a problem, you contact us and we will either answer your questions and resolve the problem or push it out to the proper people who can.”

CSTs are responsible for maintaining the communications systems for the entire wing.

“If the 908th communications section didn’t exist, other organizations wouldn’t be able to function,” said Farris. “We would still be able to get aircraft off of the ground and deploy; however, members around the wing wouldn't be able to access the network, access their emails or receive information from higher headquarters to fulfill requirements if systems happen to go down.”

For entry into this specialty, completion of high school or general educational development equivalency is mandatory as well as normal color vision. Additional courses in business, mathematics, computer science, or information technology is desirable.

If you are interested in a part-time career with full-time benefits as a Reserve Citizen Airman with the 908 AW, please contact our recruiting staff at 334-953-6737.