DVIDS – News – NY Air Guard’s 106th Rescue Wing Upgrades Core Computer Network to More Secure System

Francis S. Gabreski Air National Guard Base, Westhampton Beach, NY – A $1 million computer network upgrade at Francis S. Gabreski Air National Guard Base, home of the National Guard’s 106th Rescue Wing New York Air Force will make the system more secure, according to the wing’s communications flight chiefs.

The 106th Communications Flight completed the information technology upgrade at Westhampton Beach Air Force Base in February.

According to Staff Sgt. Richard P. Beetstra, 106th Rescue Wing Cyber ​​​​​​System Operations Manager and Project Leader, the upgrade project increased base port and computer security, and standardized equipment with the Air Force in service active that enables faster adaptability in deployed locations.

Known as the Base Information Transport Infrastructure, or BITI, the upgrade prevents “rogue” computers from being plugged into base ports, reduces vulnerability to viruses, and reduces the movement of phones and member computers around the base.

“What has improved is our security posture on the network…we’re not as vulnerable to viruses or malicious logic,” Beetstra said.

Malicious logic is defined as hardware, firmware or software that is intentionally included or inserted into a system to perform an unauthorized function or process, he explained.

To improve the system, new equipment must be installed. Beetstra said.

Air National Guard bases not only had different equipment compared to their active duty counterparts, but each Guard base was configured differently, making it more difficult to work at different bases and deployment locations, a- he explained.

Because upgrading equipment was important, the National Guard Bureau gave each Guard unit about $100,000 to spend on equipment. The equipment and the contract made this project a million dollars, he said.

According to Beetstra, uplink parts, switches and other equipment had to be purchased for the basic upgrade to be completed.

During the upgrades, the entire communications flight was involved in escorting contractors to secure locations. Teams were created to support equipment swaps performed at night to avoid network disruptions during the day.

“We arrived, say around 11 or 12 and worked all night,” Beetstra said.

Chief Staff Sgt. Robbie Hunt, the 106th Rescue Wing Communication Flight Senior Enlisted Leader, said he was very impressed with the outcome and Beetstra’s project management.

“This upgrade is a game-changer for our Wing and it ties directly to the Wing Commander’s priority to modernize capabilities,” Hunt said.

“Updating our infrastructure gives us improved hardware that is more efficient. In addition, we have less risk of failure with regard to our computer network. It will also give us a chance to access more computing capacity and storage space and provide us with improved scalability for more streamlined future growth,” he added.

The 106th Rescue Wing, based at FS Gabreski Air National Guard Base in Westhampton Beach, New York, operates and maintains the HC-130J Combat King II search and rescue aircraft and the HH-60G Pave rescue helicopter. Hawk. The 106th Rescue Wing houses a special warfare squadron with pararescuemen and combat rescue officers, specializing in rescue and recovery, and deploys for domestic and overseas operations. Currently, the wing also supports statewide COVID-19 missions.

Date taken: 03.02.2022
Date posted: 03.10.2022 08:24
Story ID: 416167

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