Members of the 1st Air and Space Communications Operations Squadron and the Headquarters, U.S. Air Forces in Europe Intelligence Directorate were selected to compete against 21 other teams from across the Air Force for the coveted Chief of Staff’s Team Excellence Award.
The team, which comprises 30 military and civilian Airmen, augmented and enhanced the Air Force’s Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System network for the entire European theater.
This was no small feat for the 1st ACOS and the USAFE Intelligence Directorate’s subordinate, Intelligence Systems Branch. The team executed a $2.5 million network infrastructure upgrade, vastly improving operational availability to its supported units. Additionally, technicians visited every operating location on the continent to update and standardize each computer on their network.
The combined 1st ACOS and USAFE/A2 team executed a cutting-edge endeavor to virtualize 57 servers, keeping pace with similar efforts in the civilian sector.
This project alone will allow less hardware to provide a sustained level of service, saving the Air Force $600,000 annually.
“What we have here in USAFE is a remarkable dynamic,” said Maj. Barry Matheney, chief of USAFE’s Intelligence Systems Branch. “The (USAFE) Intelligence Directorate provides oversight and guidance and the 1st ACOS team members expertly field the equipment and ensure system users throughout the AOR have access to the intelligence information they need when they need it.”
Over a period of two years, the team revised the bulk of its governance and built an unprecedented working relationship between hands-on technicians and USAFE policy makers.
With technicians and policy makers working hand-in-hand, the team established a continuity of operations plan and brought a brand new disaster recovery site online. In the event of a disaster, the new site will provide continued
service to all of USAFE’s intelligence community.
Despite the rigorous upgrade schedule, the team kept $9 million in IT projects on track. Since its nomination, the team has continued to impress USAFE leadership by deploying their locally developed deployable JWICS suite in support of Operation Unified Protector, the first of its kind in the Air Force.
“This network is a benchmark for the rest of the Air Force intelligence community. Our Airmen are the best at what they do, and this nomination is a testament to their dedication,” said Lt. Col. Hugh St. Martin, 1st ACOS commander.
The commander will join fellow MAJCOM nominees in Washington, D.C., later this month to brief his team’s accomplishments.