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Air Force keeps the telework force in the fight

  • Published
  • By George Serna
  • Sixteenth Air Force
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Sixteenth Air Force (Air Forces Cyber) is working to ensure teleworkers across the Air Force keep government and personal computers and networks connected and protected.
“Some of the efforts to expand telework capacity have been months in the making, while others were accomplished by incredible Airmen who re-engineered systems overnight,” said Lt. Gen. Timothy Haugh, commander of Sixteenth Air Force (Air Forces Cyber).
“We are working in close partnership with our Air Force CIO, Air Combat Command, the Cyberspace Capabilities Center, and Life Cycle Management Center to expand telework options and network capacity,” Haugh said. “We also ask that you continue to submit trouble tickets so that we can focus our efforts on the most urgent improvements to user experience,” Haugh said.
Virtual private network capacity has been upgraded to 70,000 concurrent users enterprise wide – a 600 percent increase. More upgrades in the coming weeks will take that number to 200,000 concurrent users.
Haugh also explained that although Airmen stabilized and eliminated a problem requiring users to enter their PIN multiple times, the issue persists for some segments of the network; and work is ongoing to address the issue.
The Air Force network can add up to 30,000 more government owned mobile devices. Installations purchasing additional iPhones and iPads should coordinate with their communication squadron. Additionally, units experiencing telephone issues, should contact their communications squadron for assistance and potential upgrades.
Haugh announced several capabilities coming online soon. “The combined team is working to improve your ability to access key tools such as Microsoft Outlook, SharePoint, and One-Drive through the use of both government laptops and personal devices,” he said.
 “As we continue to improve network user experience,” Haugh said, “we also want to ensure we’re being cognizant of cyber and information security during a time of increased telework.” Protecting the DoDIN is an important part of every Airman’s job.
“SecDef guidance is clear – we need to protect our mission critical data.” Haugh said, “While many Airmen are starting to use commercially available collaboration tools, we want to be conscious of information security and be aware that our adversaries are always seeking to exploit any new vulnerabilities. Do not work with any FOUO or PII on these platforms.”
A final word on disinformation: “We know our adversaries will attempt to spread disinformation about COVID-19,” Haugh said. “Each of us can serve on the front lines in the fight against disinformation, if we recognize the threat and maintain a healthy skepticism about the information we view online.”
When reading posts, tweets, articles, etc., consider the following: Is this an original account, article, or piece of content? Who shared or created it? Simply ask yourself: “Is this real?” Then take a couple minutes to investigate and be especially mindful about what we re-post or share with friends, co-workers, and family.
Additional information and resources are available:
DISA renews anti-virus software license agreement helping teleworkers keep machines safe at home:
Defend the DoDIN: Telework Do’s and Don’ts