HomeNewsArticle Display

New automated system replaces base operators

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- The 45th Space Communications Squadron switchboard, commonly referred to as the base operator, is no longer manned and has been replaced with an automated call tree as of Oct. 1, 2014.

The automated call tree system is designed to minimize the impact to Team Patrick-Cape and allows a caller to step through the menu options.

The Air Force and the entire Department of Defense have experienced increased budgetary pressure over the last several years. In response to these budgetary pressures, AFSPC has examined numerous functions and services that could be performed more efficiently and with less cost. One area studied was the Telephone Operator Services.

After an extensive review of call volumes and requirements, the determination was made that these functions could be automated across the Command.

Air Force Space Command Headquarters, in conjunction with the AFSPC Cyberspace Support Squadron, and functional experts from Peterson AFB, Buckley AFB, Los Angeles AFB, Schriever AFB, and Vandenberg AFB developed a way ahead.
The plan is not only more cost effective but continues to provide those services using collaborative tools, automation, existing enterprise services and portal sites as alternate means to meet requirements for services which the telephone operators currently provide.

Customers will experience changes to directory and base locator services, teleconference scheduling, morale calls, and Hearts Apart calls. Alternatives to the above mentioned services include:

-Callers may use the electronic phone directory on the Patrick AFB website. It is located in the Patrick AFB Quick Links tab in the right column, under Frequently Called Numbers.

- Directory services will be handled through the established automated call tree 24/7.

- Teleconference scheduling is conducted internally by the 45th SCS.

- Morale calls can be transferred to a toll-free switch. Deployed members who previously called back to their home station through our operators will be able to direct dial DSN 809-463-3376 from their deployed location and automatically connect to make stateside toll-free calls. Upon calling the DSN number above, members will hear a second dial tone. The member will then follow standard calling card procedures to make their call.

- Hearts Apart calls for local family members will be available through the Airman & Family Readiness Center during their normal duty hours.

In our current fiscal environment, the team could not justify continuing support services requiring operator intervention when the same services could be provided by alternate means.  Across the command, this initiative will save $1.4 million a year. 
This initiative directly aligns with the Secretary of the Air Force's "Make Every Dollar Count:  All In, All The Time" campaign.