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Andersen leads the way to AFNet migration

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Whitney Tucker
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
Last month, Andersen Air Force Base became the first base in Pacific Command to successfully migrate to the Air Force Network. With the exception of a handful of computers and user accounts, most 36th Wing personnel and mission partners are now operating on the AFNet.

Serving as the pilot base for Pacific Air Forces, 36th Communications Squadron personnel in conjunction with visiting AFNet migration team members facilitated the smooth transition of more than 4,100 mail boxes and 2,100 work stations from the independent Andersen network to the AFNet.

"We began preparation for the changeover several months prior to the projected start date," said Tech. Sgt. Robert Warminsky 36 CS cyber security. "Not only did we have to gather network user information, we had to take a virtual snap shot of every account on base. With more than four thousand active accounts, this was quite a feat and demanded the dedication of more than 40 people in four 36 CS sections working 20-hour shifts."

Because the task of rolling so many users into a new network requires specialized knowledge and skills, members of the AFNet migration team were essential to the project's success.

"The team is comprised of various individuals who have been specifically trained to accomplish this mission," Sergeant Warminsky said. "The members, flown in from various bases around the world, utilize these skills to ease the transition from the old network to the new. Their guidance and expertise during this time was invaluable to the 36 CS."

Following in the footsteps of other services' network consolidation efforts such as the Navy-Marine Corps Intranet, the AFNet allows Air Force personnel the ability to log on to the unclassified network at any Air Force installation. This network availability greatly benefits personnel going on temporary duty and streamlines the permanent change of station process.

"Until now, major commands and various other Air Force organizations have been operating on their own independent networks, consequently driving unique and unit specific requirements," said Tech. Sgt. Juan Valenzuela, 36 CS project manager. "There was no single organization or commander responsible for the network. The AFNet migration project addresses these issues and places Air Force cyber operations under the operational control of a single commander."

Although a level of trial and error can be expected following the implementation of any new program, the benefits of the AFNet far outweigh the challenges.

"The most noticeable effect of the AFNet centralization is that the Enterprise Service Desk will field all unclassified network issues and outages for Air Force personnel," said Sergeant Valenzuela. "The ESD is able to provide assistance 24 hours a day via a network of call centers and technicians at Lackland AFB, Texas; Maxwell-Gunter AFB, Ala.; Ramstein Air Base, Germany, and Hickam AFB, Hawaii. ESD technicians are able to field and resolve approximately 50 percent of unclassified network problems during the initial call for reporting an issue and forward tickets for those issues that they cannot resolve to local technicians for resolution."

The migration has enabled changes and advancements to the way servicemembers communicate. As always, suggestions and feedback are essential elements of making this a change for the better. If solicited for input, please take the time to provide candid, constructive comments. For any additional migration questions or concerns, please contact the 36th Communications Focal Point directly at 366-2666.