Comm squadron earns ‘Excellent’ in cyber security inspection

by Staff Sgt. Travis Edwards
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

The 86th Communications Squadron on Ramstein shined during the Command Cyber Readiness Inspection from Feb. 13 through 17 with an overall “Excellent.”

The CCRI team from the Defense Information Systems Agency is responsible for ensuring communications systems are secure and compliant by performance evaluations and assistance visits.

“Thanks to all the commanders for their support over the past few months,” said Capt. Jason Abshire, 86th CS CCRI (prep) team chief. “Everyone has a role in network defense and their information assurance monitors and unit security managers came through in a big way.”

There are nine different inspection areas for the CCRI team to look at during the inspection. Those items can range from major equipment to software on the network. They have civilians, military members and contractors who have specific training in each of the nine fields, all looking for deficiencies.

“We have 22,000 network users and 20,000 network devices connected by 900 switches,” Abshire said. “We have a great team here; we’ve been able to take the number of findings (discrepancies) and reduce them by almost 75 percent over the last few months.”

The inspection team was looking at everything, said 1st Lt. Erica Juchter, officer in charge of cyber defense and readiness.

“Ramstein is so big with many customers and buildings that we have to
keep safe and secure,” she said.

But with the vast amount of customers, devices and components spread out over four continents and three combatant commands, a major command, two numbered air forces, three wings and more than 100 geographically separated units, this communications squadron is still able to complete the mission.

“We have a very dedicated shop of Airmen, who on their own volition ensure our networks are working and secure, even if it takes them out of their normal duty hours,” Abshire said. “However, everyone who has a network account has a responsibility to help protect the network.”