Air Combat Command transfers SIPRNet mission to the Air Education and Training Command

  • Published
  • By U.S. Air Force Nadine Wiley De Moura
  • 688th Cyberspace Wing
In a historical transfer of responsibility, Lt. Col. Traci Sarmiento, 690th Intelligence Support Squadron commander transferred the local Secret Internet Protocol Router Network (SIPRNet) mission to the 502nd Communications Squadron commander, Lt. Col. Christopher Waddell, Oct. 29, 2021 at Joint Base San Antonio- Lackland Air Force Base, Texas.

The 502nd CS will assume the service and support functions of network and systems hardware infrastructure, project management and engineering, helpdesk and client systems support, and information assurance.

The proposed realignment was originally agreed to in a memorandum between the 24th Air Force vice commander and 502 Air Base Wing commander dated Dec. 2, 2015.

“I would be remiss to not say a special thank you to the countless individuals at the Squadron, Group, Wing and MAJCOM levels and both AETC and ACC that have tried to transition this mission for the last 10 years,” said Waddell. “After numerous starts and stops your hard work has finally paid off.”

In 2021, AETC A3/6 and ACC A6 approved and signed a memo agreeing on the resources transferring between MAJCOMs to execute the mission. The memo provided the fundamental resourcing guidance for MAJCOMs to begin the mission transfer actions.

The SIPRNet mission serves over 5000 users on Joint Base-San Antonio-Lackland Air Force Base. The 502nd CS will offer support for 65 mission partners over 10 different MAJCOMs and organizations. The 502 CS will be gaining 10 civilians, 28 contractors and 25 military personnel from the 690th ISS in support of the mission.

The mission transfer will comply with a totally revised Air Force Instruction 33-115, which has been re-designated Air Force Instruction 17-100, Air Force Information Technology Service Management.

“This change is historic for three reasons …first, with this transition the 690th and the 502nd transfer we finally close the book on the one base, one network concept that started in 2005,” said Waddell. “Second by accepting the mission, the 502nd clears the path for the 690th ISS ensuring that they can fully engage in their enterprise JWICS [Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System] mission that the Air Force has asked you to do.”

Lastly—and I’m still waiting on confirmation for this---this transfer elevates us from the largest CONUS [continental United States.] comms Squadron to the largest base comms squadron in the U.S. Air Force, said Waddell.

As the largest communications squadron in Air Education and Training Command, the 502nd CS provides engineering, acquisition, management and maintenance of over $800 million in integrated base-wide communications systems covering five distinct missions to seven wings, eight higher headquarters and more than 266 mission partners across Joint Base San Antonio.

The 502nd CS also provides records management, Privacy Act, Freedom of Information Act services, voice and data infrastructure support, and is overall responsible for IT asset management and communications requirements across Joint Base San Antonio.

The 688th Cyberspace Wing, commonly referred to as the cyberspace enterprise wing, provides enterprise level support for NIPR and SIPR systems.

The realignment supports the Air Combat Command commander’s initiatives to align “like” enterprise network operations functions to a single commander. The changes to the mission sets and realignment of functions initiated a new look into current mission sets of the 690th ISS and where efficiencies could be gained.

“Even though we are all here to celebrate this mission transfer we all know the driving force behind mission is people—the Airmen,” said Sarmiento. “The military civilian and contractor personnel whose collective efforts are vital to the defense of our nation.

As commander of the 690th ISS, Sarmiento leads over 250 squadron personnel in the development, engineering, planning, implementation, operations, security, and maintenance of the global Air Force Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System enterprise in addition to delivering network operations across three classified networks to Joint Base San Antonio.

690th ISS mission partners include the National Security Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency, Joint Information Operations Warfare Center, 16th Air Force and 67th Cyberspace Wing.

“To the women and men of the Joint Base San Antonio- Lackland SIPR team, I have no doubt that you will continue to provide the same incredible level of service to your mission partners as we have come to expect from you,” said Sarmiento. “It will continue to be my honor to serve alongside you in the greatest Air Force this world has known.”