OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. --
Offutt Air Force Base achieved a critical step towards moving network operations to a commercially managed service when an Operational Readiness Review was completed March 23.
The review focused on Network as a Service, which is one of three lines of effort under the Enterprise IT as a Service initiative implemented in 2018 to improve Air Force IT and to allow active-duty communication specialists to focus more on cyber security.
The review approved the transition of network services and connectivity for approximately 10 percent of base users that were moved under the information transfer services of commercial corporation AT&T. The review was considered a success and the 55th Communications Squadron will now begin incrementally moving the rest of the base.
This is just the second review conducted Air Force wide for Network as a Service. Offutt officials say it is a big step in improving the way the Air Force provides IT services.
“Not only is the 55th Wing trailblazing the way the Air Force provides bases with IT services but the Army is following our lead and learning from our processes and experience with EITaaS,” said Maj. Larry Sigman, 55th Communications Squadron director of operations.
Additionally, the base plans to implement additional End-user Support efforts as early as June when commercial corporation SAIC is scheduled to take over computer refresh requirements. Once implemented, units will begin contacting them to replace computers.
Sigman said Offutt has been implementing Enterprise IT as a Service changes with a crawl-walk-run approach over the past year. Offutt is currently the only base in Air Combat Command using EITaaS. He hopes Offutt will be a benchmark for all bases to follow.
“If it goes well, we can apply this business model to the rest of the Air Force,” Sigman said.
Future plans include Compute and Store efforts that will address file server data storage. Offutt officials say they are currently researching a cloud-based centralized data management solution that will include storing application software. It will be managed commercially by Accenture.
The 55th CS encourages users to continue providing feedback as changes are implemented that will help improve network services. One of the easiest ways is to respond to automated email notices sent to users once helpdesk tickets are closed out.
“Our transition is on track,” said Wayne Brown, Offutt’s EITaaS technical point of contact. “We’re still finding areas to improve, but nothing that will limit mission capability.”