Consolidated telephone operators Published Feb. 26, 2007 By 2nd Lt. Richard Kelley 48th Communications Squadron ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England -- If you've dialed zero lately looking for operator assistance you may have noticed a slight change. You are greeted with "USAFE Consolidated Switchboard, operator X, how may I help you?" You're now talking to the operators at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, instead of our familiar RAF Mildenhall operators. In December, all operator-assisted calls were routed through Ramstein as part of a US Air Forces in Europe Consolidated Switchboard initiative. Even though the consolidated switchboard operator is several countries away, nothing has changed in terms of service. Requests for numbers and transferred calls to on-base or off-base numbers, including morale calls to loved ones downrange, will be just as easy. To get connected with the operator, dial "zero" and connect to the USAFE Consolidated Switchboard. Family members calling deployed personnel may be asked to provide a personal identification number for tracking purposes. PINs can be obtained before or during deployments through the Airman and Family Readiness Center. For more information on PINs, call 226-3847. Please note, the operators are not able to assist with certain advanced features, such as teleconferences. However, these can be coordinated through the 48th Communications Squadron's Telephone Maintenance shop at 226-3292.