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Dover Communications Squadron wins AMC award, first in 23 years

Personnel assigned to the 436th Communications Squadron stand in front of their building for a photo Nov. 9, 2020, at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. Standing in the center is Maj. Peter Dell'Accio, 436th CS commander; to his left is Senior Master Sgt. Adam Jensen, 436th CS superintendent; and to his right is Master Sgt. Christopher Anderson, 436th CS first sergeant. The 436th CS plans, installs, operates and maintains $75 million in command, control, communications, computer and visual information systems for two C-5 airlift wings and the National Weather Service. Mission areas include classified and unclassified data networks, airfield navigation and landing equipment, air traffic control systems maintenance, airport surveillance and weather radar, telephone and wireless communications, public address systems, frequency management and base information management. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Cydney Lee)

Personnel assigned to the 436th Communications Squadron stand in front of their building for a photo Nov. 9, 2020, at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. Standing in the center is Maj. Peter Dell'Accio, 436th CS commander; to his left is Senior Master Sgt. Adam Jensen, 436th CS superintendent; and to his right is Master Sgt. Christopher Anderson, 436th CS first sergeant. The 436th CS plans, installs, operates and maintains $75 million in command, control, communications, computer and visual information systems for two C-5 airlift wings and the National Weather Service. Mission areas include classified and unclassified data networks, airfield navigation and landing equipment, air traffic control systems maintenance, airport surveillance and weather radar, telephone and wireless communications, public address systems, frequency management and base information management. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Cydney Lee)

DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. -- The 436th Communications Squadron won the Air Mobility Command level Lt. Gen. Grant Unit of the Year Award for the first time in 23 years, Dec. 14, 2020.

The Lt. Gen. Harold W. Grant Unit of the Year Award recognizes small information dominance and cyberspace units for sustained superior performance, professional excellence and contributions that have improved Air Force and Department of Defense operations and missions.

"1997 was the last time we received this recognition," said Senior Master Sgt. Adam Jensen, 436th Communications Squadron superintendent. “We’re the only cyber unit on Dover Air Force Base, so we compete at the AMC level every year. There were eight other bases and units competing for the award this year and with only 60 manpower authorizations on our books, we’re annual underdogs competing against units that are up to double our size.”

With roughly a 33% manpower turnover in the last year and a large portion of their remaining experienced Airmen serving in deployed locations, the 436th CS navigated an unprecedented year of teleworking as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

“Ultimately, this recognition is the result of the relentless hard work of our absolutely stellar team members,” said Jensen. “Over the course of the craziest year that I can recall, the accomplishments of this team have been truly remarkable.”

The 436th CS Airmen have continued to navigate manpower limitations and new connectivity requirements in response to COVID-19, but beyond that, the team stood out from the competition with a number of other achievements.

From installing a new $600,000 file storage system in a 10-day period that overhauled management of critical operations data for 52 supported organizations, to leading the way during AMC’s $4 million multi-function device upgrade initiative, the 436 CS team has provided unrivaled, around-the-clock support to Team Dover.

“The men and women of the comm squadron are absolute rock stars,” said Maj. Peter Dell’Accio, 436th Communications Squadron commander. “Their resilience and adaptability in the face of an ever changing cyber landscape that’s been further complicated by a global pandemic have been nothing short of inspirational and key to the unit earning this level of recognition.”

The 436th CS will go on to compete at the Air Force level. Regardless of the outcome, Dell’Accio says Airmen of the 436th CS remain focused on keeping Dover AFB connected and ready to support global strategic airlift operations.

“Our Airmen work tirelessly to ensure the critical command and control, communications, and computer systems are available to the fullest extent possible to support every aspect of our rapid global airlift mission,” said Dell’Accio. “They manage the details of every communications project, configure and maintain every phone, computer, printer, and radio, and connect every building and office on Dover AFB. They share in every accomplishment across the Wing, and I could not be prouder than to be part of the 436th Communications Squadron family.”