JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. --
Air Force District of Washington (AFDW) and Headquarters Air Force (HAF) customers will see a number of changes in Information Technology services in the near future. The 844th Communications Group, along with the 744th Communications Squadron (744 CS) and 844th Communications Squadron (844 CS), are spearheading a number of cutting-edge initiatives aimed at increasing Cyber Security, improving services, customer experience, and cost savings.
WINDOWS 10 MIGRATION
The first of these changes will be the migration of all users to Windows 10 (Win 10). This DOD CIO-directed upgrade will improve defense against a new generation of cyber threats and streamline the Information Technology operating environment throughout the Department of Defense. Computers greater than two years old will also be replaced in conjunction with installation of the new operating system.
For ADFW and the HAF, this means over 24,000 computers will be upgraded between now and the end of March 2018. Users will see a concentrated rollout beginning this fall and continuing through March 2018. Upgrades will be accomplish an entire office at a time--computers not upgraded by the deadline will be quarantined from the network.
Following the migration to Win 10, the 844th Communication Group will only support computers and peripherals purchased through Air Force Way (AFWAY) which is a web base system for purchasing IT equipment. In addition, only devices with Windows 10 drivers “digitally signed” by the manufacturer will be recognized by the operating system, rendering many older peripherals unusable. We anticipate this will primarily affect older printers, scanners, and external hard drives.
Finally, all MAJCOMs are documenting issues we discover in conjunction with the Win 10 rollout and providing the data to the Air Force Enterprise Configuration Management Office (AFECMO) for analysis and resolution.
MANAGED PRINT SERVICES
Managed Print Services (MPS) is a new contract effort to provide a full range of print services (copy, print, scan, and fax) for HAF and AFDW customers. MPS is the most comprehensive effort to upgrade print services in DoD and will pave the way for other MAJCOMs to manage printing, effect right-sizing and reduce costs.
What makes the MPS approach new is that it brings in a professional print contractor to not only provide the copy and print devices, but to monitor and right-size printing capabilities. The vendor will provide on-site maintenance and consumables (except paper), and monitor device usage for print volume and functions used, and upgrade or downgrade the hardware to fit each office’s needs. We estimate this can save up to $15 million dollars per year in the NCR alone by the end of the contract.
MPS will also introduce a new secure “Follow-Me Print” capability that allows the customer to go to any printer on the network and pick up their hard copy by inserting their CAC card at the destination device.
An assessment will occur soon involving touring all spaces that have a print capability and documenting the locations of print devices. This will be the first step planning the replacement of all print capabilities in the network.
iPhone 7 MIGRATION
AFDW/PK recently awarded a new personal wireless communication contract for the HAF and AFDW. This contract action provides a technology refresh for those senior leaders and support personnel already utilizing government provided iPhone 6’s to upgrade to the iPhone 7. The iPhone 7 has several improved features, including a new camera, a new display, and splash and dust resistance.
In conjunction with this migration, many customers will also receive Purebred, which allows access to encrypted email on the mobile device. Please contact the 844 CG for more details about Purebred deployment schedules.
JBA/JBAB SWITCH UPGRADES
The 744th Communications Squadron is in the midst of a significant upgrade of the base network infrastructure. This upgrade replaces older End of Life (EOL) equipment with an entirely new breed of switching infrastructure that will provide ten times the current bandwidth available to users.
The overall goals of this implementation are to increase speed of delivery of critical data to the customer, increase reliability of the base infrastructure as a whole, and maintain a greater level of management of configurations, and situational awareness across the enterprise network.
IT SERVICES MANAGEMENT BACKBONE OVERHAUL
The system used for processing all IT Services Management (ITSM) Requests of HAF and AFDW customers is currently comprised of two separate systems known as Storefront and Remedy. Storefront is the customer portal and Remedy is used to track requirements and tasks. These systems are being updated and simplified to improve the customer experience; the newly combined system will also improve asset tracking across the National Capital Region (NCR).
LAND MOBILE RADIO REFRESH
In 2015, the NCR installed a trunked radio network system throughout the region, providing over 300 square miles of coverage no matter where a radio is broadcasting. The 744 CS recently invested money to procure new radios to better leverage that coverage and provide more agile, flexible radio communications for technicians and users alike.
The new radios will support numerous new capabilities including over-the-air re-keying (OTAR) to ensure security and quarantine devices believed lost, stolen, or non-compliant with equipment custodian responsibilities. This will greatly enhance our ability to support, operations such as state funerals, international conferences, Presidential movements, as well as base exercises and events.
ONE BASE ONE NETWORK (1B1N) INITIATIVE
The One Base One Network (1B1N) initiative is an Air Force initiative to reduce the amount of equipment needed for a base to function. This will decrease cost, maintenance, and infrastructure requirements, with the greatest benefits expected for Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve units on the base.
We estimate this will take place over the next six to nine months and will enable more efficient and secure systems at Joint Base Andrews.
Editorial Note: The appearance or mention of specific product information in this article does not imply or constitute Department of Defense, United States Air Force, or Air Force District of Washington endorsement.