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NOSC Cheyenne provides support for Big Navy

  • Published
  • By Glenn S. Robertson
  • 90th Missile Wing Public Affairs

What in the world is the Frontier Navy and what does the Navy do in landlocked Wyoming?

It is a question that comes up frequently, according to Navy Lt. Cmdr. Jeffrey Shepard, commanding officer of Naval Operational Support Center Cheyenne, located on F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming.

“Being on an Air Force base in a mountain state, we get asked what our purpose could be with no water nearby,” said Shepard.

Ultimately, their role and their mission is to support and fill in operational gaps for the Navy.

“Similar to the Air Guard and the Air Force Reserve, we support the active-duty Navy by filling critical assignments,” said Shepard. “Effectively, we are the backstop for the Navy, providing strategic depth by filling in gaps in operational requirements from Big Navy.”

Often, those requirements are filling billets for operational deployments.

“Last year, we mobilized 12 Sailors to support the fight against COVID,” said Shepard. “Prior to that, we have also deployed members for humanitarian relief efforts and combat support in Afghanistan, Kuwait, Haiti and Iraq, among others.”

The NOSC is split evenly between medical personnel and other naval rates, the equivalent to an AFSC, and of the 62 personnel attached to the command, 57 are reservists and 45 are enlisted Sailors.

The full-time personnel in the unit are responsible for ensuring that those 57 reserve personnel can deploy when called upon.

“Our mission is to ensure that the personnel at our NOSC are properly trained and maintain medical and mobilization readiness,” said Shepard. “We ensure readiness so our Sailors are ready to go when they get the call.”

Another mission that the Sailors of NOSC Cheyenne support is in funeral support for recently deceased veterans.  

The full-time service Sailors of the NOSC provide funerary honors for more than 150 deceased veterans every year across Wyoming and into Nebraska, South Dakota and Colorado, according to Shepard.

“Last week, we had a funeral in northern Wyoming, we’re just getting back from Dubois for one and next week, we’re headed to Worland for another funeral,” said Shepard. “Unlike the Air Force, which has designated Honor Guards at most installations, it falls upon the full-time service members of the NOSC to honor past Sailors at their funerals in our region.”

Lastly and perhaps unsurprisingly, the Sailors of NOSC Cheyenne also support Cheyenne Frontier Days every July, an event that draws support from all the military units in the area. This year, CFD coincided with Navy Week Cheyenne, an event that brings Sailors from across the fleet to the area to showcase the importance of the Navy to Cheyenne and the nation.