Security and connectivity are the two watchwords for the Network Systems Operations team at the 127th Communications Flight at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Michigan.
“Our task is to ensure security and connectivity to the Air Force network – without that, our units around the base can’t complete their missions and the planes don’t fly,” said Senior Airman Christopher Kim, one of several network security specialists who work on the team.
The team has three areas of responsibility, to include physically running the cables that connect military computers at Selfridge into the network, maintaining the base’s telephone and emergency telephone network and operating the routers, switches and other pieces of hardware that keeps it all connected, said Senior Airman Alyssa Cross, another network security specialist in the flight.
“We’re continuously making infrastructure upgrades,” said Senior Airman Brock Mather, the network team lead. “We’re installing new equipment that makes our system more robust on a continuous basis.”
During the month of October, the Air National Guard is highlighting the important role that military information technology specialists play in keeping the Air Force information connected. The ANG focus is part of a larger, government-wide effort. Since 2004, the President of the United States and Congress have declared the month of October to be Cybersecurity Awareness Month, a dedicated month for the public and private sectors to work together to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity.
This is the 20th Cybersecurity Awareness Month and it has grown into a collaborative effort between government and industry to enhance cybersecurity awareness, encourage actions by the public to reduce online risk and generated discussion on cyber threats on a national and global scale.
“That’s our mission – to make sure everyone has the connection to be able to execute their mission,” said Senior Airman Matthew Kott, also a network specialist at 127 CF.
Cross said the job brings her great satisfaction.
“If we do have an issue, to be able to trouble shoot that, hook it up and keep everybody running – we all have a role to play to support the Air Force mission,” she said.