Army network upgrade complete

Christine June
U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern

***image1***Large e-mails will soon just ‘pop’ open for all Army KMC computer users thanks to the completion of the final phase Monday of the U.S. Army Europe’s network upgrade here.

“What they’ve (USAREUR) done is upgrade to fiber optic cables throughout Europe that’s going to increase the speed up to 10 times faster than what it was,” said Dewain Lyons, U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern systems administrator.

This third KMC phase of USAREUR’s Implementation Information Infrastructure Modernization Program or 13MP was Germany 18, consisting of Husterhoeh and Kleber Kasernes, and Pulaski Barracks. This concerns 40 units with a population of more than 3,000 computer and telephone users.

“The overall program architecture is designed to support both existing requirements and future growth,” said Leonard Dively, 43rd Signal Battalion Network Service Center Kaiserslautern information assurance specialist and network security. NSC Kaiserslautern and 5th Signal Command oversaw all three upgrade phases in the KMC.

Germany 18 took more than 16 months to complete and cost almost $10 million, said Kadir Suri, integrated product team leader for ManTech International, the contractor that planned the project and found the multiple contractors needed.

***image2***What this all means is Army installations in the KMC not only have a faster but also more secure connection to the USAREUR network, said Rebecca Culley, the garrison’s information management officer.

“We’ve (the garrison) always been connected, but we were basically a branch on a tree limb,” said Ms. Culley, who is responsible for more than 500 computers on five Army installations in the KMC. “Now, we are in a circle with all of USAREUR, allowing for redundancy (alternate routes), faster speed, and quicker and more secure connection.”

She compared the old system to a secondary road and the new one to a six-lane highway.

Now that all the cables have been installed, the next step for those large e-mails to just pop up will be systems administrators like Mr. Lyons going to each building’s switch box to change computer cables from the old systems to the new one. They also have to physically go to those more than 3,000 computers to ensure the switch- over has taken place.

Besides a complete fiber optic cable placement, copper cables supporting voice requirements were also installed to replace antiquated wiring and improve the efficiency of the telephone network, said Mr. Dively.

The first KMC phase was completed at Panzer Kaserne and Rhine Ordnance Barracks in July 2004, and the second one was finished at Miesau Army Depot and Daenner Kaserne in June 2005.