28th CS trains for ORI excellence

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jarad A. Denton
  • 28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
In today's fast-paced world of cyber-systems, digital media and internet applications, Airmen need a stable network infrastructure in order to complete the mission both at home station and downrange.

Due to that requirement, the 28th Communications Squadron network infrastructure shop has been training throughout the operational readiness exercises to ensure network access remains seamless during both the operational readiness inspection and real-world situations.

"Some of the biggest hitting areas are ensuring that all of our players have network access throughout the play area," said 2nd Lt. Michael Scott, 28th CS network infrastructure officer in charge. "Without fail, every player has had the connectivity they need."

The Airmen of the network infrastructure shop have been training in between operational readiness exercises to make the operations performed during the ORI second nature. They build networks, troubleshoot connectivity issues and ensure the integrity of classified systems with the intention of achieving an excellent rating during the inspection.

"Airmen will be graded on their performance of tasks with a professional attitude," said Maj. Brian Crawford, 28th Bomb Wing assistant chief of wing plans and programs. "The inspectors will be looking for Airmen accomplishing their tasks with a sense of urgency, but also emphasize safety and technical order discipline."

Lieutenant Scott said the shop has performed admirably throughout the exercises, largely due to the work put in by Airmen and NCOs who work tirelessly to build a solid network throughout the play area.

"They have a 'can-do' attitude every day of the week, including Saturday and Sunday - when they have to work," he said. "I've seen them crawling under floors to pull network cables. The Airmen are there in a moment's notice when you call. They have set a standard of excellence, which is met every single day."

Not to say there haven't been problems for the Airmen in the shop to overcome through training. One of the most prominent issues has been dealing with transporting classified computers from one location to another during an emergency evacuation.

"The shop had to figure out how to enable the users to pick up their secure laptops, move to a different location and ensure they can still connect to the network," Lt. Scott said.

This field process, which became part of the shop's ORI procedures, is one example of the adaptability standards needed to ensure the mission continues, unhindered. Network infrastructure Airmen have reinforced the standards by educating users on how the process works to get equipment they need.

Like many organizations on base, the network infrastructure shop requires certain documents which allow them to maintain the connectivity of the various units, Lt. Scott said. Without the proper forms and reports, the shop is not allowed to perform many of its required functions.

Lieutenant Scott said the network infrastructure shop has done incredibly well preparing for the ORI through practice and education. They have refined their processes for building and maintaining networks through training conducted both during and outside of the ORE. He encourages other organizations participating in the inspection to do the same.

"The best advice we can offer is to get in the ORI mindset, work hard and finish tasks early to avoid the late nights before the actual inspection."

The ORI, scheduled Oct. 12 through 18, will be a test of Airmen's ability to perform their duties in a simulated-deployed environment.