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Hanscom's Zach Rose introduces a military-to-civilian radio interoperability demonstration to Mass. Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Gregory Bialecki, third from left, and other state and regional officials during a visit to Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., Feb. 6. The group was touring a facility known as the CEIF, which is used to test and integrate advanced software, cyber, communications and network applications. (U.S. Air Force photo by Steve O'Neil)
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Hanscom facility looks to expand

Posted 2/11/2014   Updated 2/11/2014 Email story   Print story

    


66th Air Base Group Public Affairs

2/11/2014 - HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. -- -- Officials are looking to expand a critical facility here that ties together and enables rigorous testing of key military hardware and software.

A hybrid of two acronyms, the facility's full name is a mouthful. Known as the CEIF (pronounced as Seef), the Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (or C4ISR) Enterprise Integration Facility serves as a secure, scalable environment for developing, integrating and testing today's cutting edge technologies.

"What makes the CEIF so unique is its access to secure networks, its minimal overhead, its location within the Boston-area high-technology belt and its ability to provide a low-cost way to integrate multiple programs," said Maj. Chris Dupin, CEIF program manager.

While it's important for military systems to function well independently, integrating them, so they work together seamlessly in combat environments, is equally critical.

The CEIF also provides a secure infrastructure for systems, and its network connectivity allows customers to interface with virtually any system on that network, regardless of location.

"This represents an opportunity for enormous cost savings for our users and certainly greater operational utility," Dupin said.

But with such high demand comes limitations; the facility is in need of growth.

The CEIF is currently operating at maximum power and heating, ventilation and air conditioning levels while attempting to accommodate a large number of users.

"It's very difficult to advance cyber security and IT missions, and expand private sector and government collaboration, when we have to turn potential participants away due to insufficient power," Dupin said.

Upgrading the CEIF's power would allow many new participants to use the facility. Doing that would, in turn, lower test and evaluation costs for everyone. It would also reduce test cycle times, test failure rates and functional and operational risks for systems being tested.

Another key improvement would give the CEIF much more connectivity and expand its network capability.

With construction of a 120-foot tower, Hanscom workers could use the facility to connect to Barnes and Otis Air National Guard Bases as well as MITRE, a federally-funded research and development center, on a single network.

Many local and state authorities believe the CEIF is well-positioned to assume a leadership role in advancing cyber and IT testing and integration, both to support defense missions and potential civil needs. Down the road, the facility could also possibly support university, consortia and commercial activity.

As a result, Massachusetts has considered supporting the upgrades with funds from a military bond bill currently working its way through the state legislature. Regardless of where funding ultimately comes from, however, officials here are optimistic that the CEIF will be able to do bigger and better things in the near future.

"It's an ideal atmosphere for cyber and IT exploration," Dupin said. "And we hope to continue growing and leading the way with existing and evolving technologies."



tabComments
2/18/2014 2:10:29 PM ET
I hope this means additional IT jobs.
Chris, Manchester NH
 
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