The 1st Communications Maintenance Squadron special teams deploy all over Europe and Africa helping improve cyber networks, but this month they are taking time off the road and working close to home.
Ramstein is host to the largest cyber network in U.S. Air Forces in Europew requiring constant infrastructure care. The 86th Communications Squadron has dedicated technicians, but a helping hand and teamwork can go further.
“The 86th CS manages their networks well,” said Tech. Sgt. Randal Collmer, 1st CMXS infrastructure theater maintenance section chief. “We are providing an outside look and making suggestions to help improve the security and ensure they are in compliance with Air Force standards, bringing suggestions from our other sites we have helped. The added manpower and knowledge we provide has helped push others into compliance and high grades in their inspections. We hope we can help here as well.”
The network optimization teams started work at the beginning of the year and are slated to run for several weeks. They work on updating software, hardware and improving processes. For the Air Force to ensure command and control over several areas of responsibility, they rely on the 86th CS and 1st CMXS, according to Tech. Sgt. Ameer Assad, 86th Communications Squadron network infrastructure section chief.
“With a leaner, smaller Air Force and the increasingly complex environment we are operating in now, it has never been more important to have a joint effort,” Assad said.
The 86th CS provides network services not only for Ramstein but also 29 other geographically separated units, and the 1st CMXS provides specialized communication support.
“When people lose network access, they call us,” Assad said. “When we run into problems we can’t solve alone due to location or manning, we call 1st CMXS. With their support, they have enabled us to improve our network infrastructure while taking care of our customers in a timely manner.”
To support the Airmen around Ramstein, the 1st CMXS brings their knowledge from more than 100 days on the road providing theater commanders with emergency restorations, preventative maintenance and training to assist communications squadrons at home or other areas they cannot reach.
For Airmen of the 1st CMXS, working together with other squadrons and keeping Airmen safe and secure is just one of the many joys of their work, Collmer said.