Juniper Cobra: Comm check 1,2,3

A mass communication center was setup by three combat communications units in support of exercise Juniper Cobra 16, in Israel. This is the first time Airmen from the 1st Combat Communication Squadron (CBCS), 52nd CBCS and soldiers from the 44th Expeditionary Signals Battalion have worked together in a single exercise. ???It normally only takes one unit, but with this large exercise they wanted to deploy multiple units to see how it works in the event that we would have to support a real-world situation,??? said Staff Sgt. Shirim Bishop, 1st CBCS tactical network operations supervisor temporarily deployed from Ramstein Air Base, Germany. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Stephanie Longoria/Released)

A mass communication center was setup by three combat communications units in support of exercise Juniper Cobra 16, in Israel. This is the first time Airmen from the 1st Combat Communication Squadron (CBCS), 52nd CBCS and soldiers from the 44th Expeditionary Signals Battalion have worked together in a single exercise. ???It normally only takes one unit, but with this large exercise they wanted to deploy multiple units to see how it works in the event that we would have to support a real-world situation,??? said Staff Sgt. Shirim Bishop, 1st CBCS tactical network operations supervisor temporarily deployed from Ramstein Air Base, Germany. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Stephanie Longoria/Released)

Airmen from the 1st Combat Communications Squadron, 52nd CBCS and soldiers from the 44th Expeditionary Signals Battalion work together to support U.S. European Command exercise Juniper Cobra 16 in Israel, March 3, 2016. Juniper Cobra uses ballistic missile defense computer simulations to train U.S. and Israeli service members while reinforcing a strong military relationship.

Airmen from the 1st Combat Communications Squadron, 52nd CBCS and soldiers from the 44th Expeditionary Signals Battalion work together to support U.S. European Command exercise Juniper Cobra 16 in Israel, March 3, 2016. Juniper Cobra uses ballistic missile defense computer simulations to train U.S. and Israeli service members while reinforcing a strong military relationship.

Senior Airman Mitchell Moorehead, 52nd Combat Communications Squadron Radio Frequency transmission specialist, setup communication centers in support of exercise Juniper Cobra 16 in Israel, Jan. 15, 2016. Juniper Cobra uses ballistic missile defense computer simulations to train U.S. and Israeli service members while reinforcing a strong military relationship. For the first time, Airmen from multiple units work together to support U.S. European Command. (U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Stephanie Longoria/Released)

Senior Airman Mitchell Moorehead, 52nd Combat Communications Squadron Radio Frequency transmission specialist, setup communication centers in support of exercise Juniper Cobra 16 in Israel, Jan. 15, 2016. Juniper Cobra uses ballistic missile defense computer simulations to train U.S. and Israeli service members while reinforcing a strong military relationship. For the first time, Airmen from multiple units work together to support U.S. European Command. (U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Stephanie Longoria/Released)

Airmen with the 1st Combat Communications Squadron and 52nd CBCS, setup communication centers in support of exercise Juniper Cobra 16 in Israel, Jan. 14, 2016. Juniper Cobra uses ballistic missile defense computer simulations to train U.S. and Israeli service members while reinforcing a strong military relationship. For the first time, Airmen from multiple units work together to support U.S. European Command. (U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Stephanie Longoria/Released)

Airmen with the 1st Combat Communications Squadron and 52nd CBCS, setup communication centers in support of exercise Juniper Cobra 16 in Israel, Jan. 14, 2016. Juniper Cobra uses ballistic missile defense computer simulations to train U.S. and Israeli service members while reinforcing a strong military relationship. For the first time, Airmen from multiple units work together to support U.S. European Command. (U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Stephanie Longoria/Released)

Staff Sgt. Shimir Bishop, 1st Combat Communications Squadron tactical network operations supervisor, from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, is temporary deployed to Israel in support of exercise Juniper Cobra 16. Juniper Cobra uses ballistic missile defense computer simulations to train U.S. and Israeli service members while reinforcing a strong military relationship. For the first time, Airmen from the 1st CBCS, 52nd CBCS and soldiers from the 44th Expeditionary Signals Battalion work together to support U.S. European Command. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Stephanie Longoria/Released)

Staff Sgt. Shimir Bishop, 1st Combat Communications Squadron tactical network operations supervisor, from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, is temporary deployed to Israel in support of exercise Juniper Cobra 16. Juniper Cobra uses ballistic missile defense computer simulations to train U.S. and Israeli service members while reinforcing a strong military relationship. For the first time, Airmen from the 1st CBCS, 52nd CBCS and soldiers from the 44th Expeditionary Signals Battalion work together to support U.S. European Command. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Stephanie Longoria/Released)

Staff Sgt. Shimir Bishop, 1st Combat Communications Squadron tactical network operations supervisor, from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, modifies a user account during exercise Juniper Cobra 16 in Israel, Feb. 22. Juniper Cobra uses ballistic missile defense computer simulations to train U.S. and Israeli service members while reinforcing a strong military relationship. For the first time, Airmen from the 1st CBCS, 52nd CBCS and soldiers from the 44th Expeditionary Signals Battalion work together to support U.S. European Command. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Stephanie Longoria/Released)

Staff Sgt. Shimir Bishop, 1st Combat Communications Squadron tactical network operations supervisor, from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, modifies a user account during exercise Juniper Cobra 16 in Israel, Feb. 22. Juniper Cobra uses ballistic missile defense computer simulations to train U.S. and Israeli service members while reinforcing a strong military relationship. For the first time, Airmen from the 1st CBCS, 52nd CBCS and soldiers from the 44th Expeditionary Signals Battalion work together to support U.S. European Command. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Stephanie Longoria/Released)

Sgt. Maurice Felder, 44th Expeditionary Signals Battalion Tactical Satellite (TACSAT) team chief, from Grafenwohr, Germany, troubleshoots the satellite connection during exercise Juniper Cobra 16 in Israel, Feb. 22, 2016. Juniper Cobra uses ballistic missile defense computer simulations to train U.S. and Israeli service members while reinforcing a strong military relationship. For the first time, Airmen from the 1st Combat Communications Squadron, 52nd CBCS and soldiers from the 44th Expeditionary Signals Battalion work together to support U.S. European Command. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Stephanie Longoria/Released)

Sgt. Maurice Felder, 44th Expeditionary Signals Battalion Tactical Satellite (TACSAT) team chief, from Grafenwohr, Germany, troubleshoots the satellite connection during exercise Juniper Cobra 16 in Israel, Feb. 22, 2016. Juniper Cobra uses ballistic missile defense computer simulations to train U.S. and Israeli service members while reinforcing a strong military relationship. For the first time, Airmen from the 1st Combat Communications Squadron, 52nd CBCS and soldiers from the 44th Expeditionary Signals Battalion work together to support U.S. European Command. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Stephanie Longoria/Released)

Lt. Gen. William Garrett, U.S. European Command deputy commander, meets 1st Lt. Kyle Kiriyama, 44th Expeditionary Signals Battalion platoon leader, during his visit of the exercise Juniper Cobra. Juniper Cobra is a biennial exercise held in Israel that trains on the ballistic missile defense, crisis resupply, foreign disaster response and foreign humanitarian assistance using computer simulations. Garrett recognized the efforts of three combat communications units working together for the first time in support of the exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Stephanie Longoria/Released)

Lt. Gen. William Garrett, U.S. European Command deputy commander, meets 1st Lt. Kyle Kiriyama, 44th Expeditionary Signals Battalion platoon leader, during his visit of the exercise Juniper Cobra. Juniper Cobra is a biennial exercise held in Israel that trains on the ballistic missile defense, crisis resupply, foreign disaster response and foreign humanitarian assistance using computer simulations. Garrett recognized the efforts of three combat communications units working together for the first time in support of the exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Stephanie Longoria/Released)

ISRAEL -- Airmen and Soldiers from three combat communications units worked together to maintain communication for more than 1,700 U.S. Total Force service members and civilians who participated in exercise Juniper Cobra 16, Feb. 25 to March 3.

Juniper Cobra used ballistic missile defense computer simulations to train U.S. and Israeli service members while reinforcing a strong military relationship.

For the first time, Airmen from the 1st Combat Communications Squadron (CBCS), 52nd CBCS and soldiers from the 44th Expeditionary Signals Battalion worked together to support U.S. European Command.

"In my 22 years working in a communications squadron, this is the first time three full comm units have ever worked together," said Col. Andrew D'Ippolito, United States Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces in Africa contingency and engagements division chief.

"It's very very rare for multiple [communications] squadrons to work together," said Staff Sgt. Shirim Bishop, 1st CBCS tactical network operations supervisor temporarily deployed from Ramstein Air Base, Germany. "It normally only takes one unit, but with this large exercise they wanted to deploy multiple units to see how it works in the event that we would have to support a real-world situation."

For such a large scale computer-assisted exercise, maintaining communication is essential to the training.

"Without communication the joint task force will have no command and control, and will not be able to accomplish the mission," explained 1st Lt. Kyle Kiriyama, 44th ESB platoon leader from Grafenwohr, Germany. "Communication is one of the most important pieces of this exercise."

"The exercise would come to a halt if the communications lines were to go down," said Senior Airman Joseph Smith, 52nd CBCS communications specialist from Robins Air Force Base, Georgia.

Supporting the JC16 mission brought comradery among the three units along with some challenging learning opportunities.

"The initial setup was challenging but we got over the hurdles pretty easily," Smith said.

For Kiriyama, it was figuring out the roles and responsibilities for each unit, that he found the most challenging.

"We needed to figure out which unit is responsible for each building, area and what services were provided to customers," Kiriyama explained.

Learning each other's methods of troubleshooting an issue and the different ways of handling a situation as a team is one of the challenges the units have overcome during JC16.

"For a lot of soldiers this is our first joint exercise," Kiriyama said. "We've learned a lot about how the Air Force functions, how they deploy their communications assets and support customer's versus how we support our customers in the Army."

For Smith, working alongside the Israeli's and learning new skills from his partner combat communications units was rewarding.

The team did an outstanding job working together and maintain communications throughout the exercise. I'm very proud of what they accomplished out here, D'Ippolito said.

"Our motto is 'First in, Last out,'" concluded Bishop. "We're usually the first unit in theater, and the last unit to leave. We setup before anyone else gets here, and we leave after everyone is gone. We provide the service that people need throughout the exercise."