ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. --
When COVID-19 hit Ellsworth Air Force Base, the 28th Communications Squadron hit the keys to ensure mission success did not waver.
With a mission of delivering assured Cyberspace capabilities to fuel strategic deterrence, global strike, and combat support, anytime, anywhere, the squadron’s personnel had a task – ensure Ellsworth personnel can safely practice social distancing by working from home.
“The 28th Communications Squadron set up approximately 230 laptops with Virtual Private Network capabilities to allow members to telework,” said Senior Master Sgt. Christopher Simmering, the 28th CS superintendent.
Though the 28th CS was able to outfit installation equipment for personnel to telework, personnel also fix most communication-related issues on the installation.
“The squadron fixes issues with anything that touches the internet, such as printer problems, internet connectivity, computers, servers, share drives and any network infrastructure on base,” said Staff Sgt. John Canary, a 28th CS Communications Focal Point (CFP) technician.
Much like many organizations on the installation, personnel assigned to the squadron established a teleworking schedule where roughly half of the squadron teleworked.
“While the manning in the squadron dropped, the amount of work coming in did not, making half a squadron do a normal squadron-sized work load, accomplishing roughly 2,800 tickets between March and September,” said Canary.
When personnel encounter an issue with their computer, the first step should be to open the vESD Air Force IT Service Desk program on their computers.
“If someone wants to submit a ticket, or is having issues submitting one, they can use the help desk program on their computer which will show what issue they are having exactly,” said Senior Airman
Lewis Smith, a 28th CS client system technician. “The ticket [will] then be sent to the Communications Squadron, If you are still having issues filling out a ticket or it won’t work, you can call the communication focal point [at 385-2666].”
When it comes to teleworking, no matter the issue, the 28th Communication Squadron stands ready to help Ellsworth continue the mission. For communication issues, call the CFP at (605) 385-2666 and follow the prompts.