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Collaboration for tomorrow’s Air Force

Airmen study using Air Force Network-powered laptops, made possible by the Program Executive Office for Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence and Networks at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass. (U.S. Air Force stock photo)

Airmen study using Air Force Network-powered laptops, made possible by the Program Executive Office for Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence and Networks at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass. The collaboration between C3I&N and the 66th Air Base Group Communications and Information Division (SC) is vital to the success of the entire Air Force. (U.S. Air Force Stock Photo)

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – The working relationship between base organizations can have major impacts on the overall mission. For two Air Force Life Cycle Management Center organizations at Hanscom Air Force Base, that collaboration is vital to the success of the entire Air Force.

Hanscom is home to the Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence and Networks Infrastructure Division, the team responsible for designing, testing and deploying the entire Air Force Network. Their mission partner, the 66th Air Base Group Communications and Information Division (SC), owns and operates the local network.

Together, the two teams support innovative solutions for the whole force.

“It’s been an incredible working relationship,” said Jim Pinder, lead C3I&N performance engineer. “They understand what we’re trying to do, which is improve the network performance for everyone in the Air Force.”

As the owners of the Hanscom network, SC members maintain IT support to more than 10,000 end-users on the installation, including C3I&N.  

“Our role is to support any innovation that comes out of C3I&N so they can develop solutions that impact all of us,” said Sanjeeb Khanal, SC chief of operations. “So there is a real invested interest.”

It is not common for a base-level communications division to have such direct access to the central hub of infrastructure, and the unique relationship sometimes allows SC to be early adopters of new capabilities.

Last year the Cloud Hosted Enterprise Services, or CHES, Program Management Office here led a pilot program to provide Air Force Network users cloud storage through OneDrive for Business.

“When we want to try something out we could test it in a lab, but that doesn’t have the real-world look and feel of operations,” said Pinder. “SC is running a fully operational base, so what better way to make sure something will be spot on than working with them.”

The larger objective for both organizations is ensuring the Airmen supporting the warfighter are able to execute their missions, whether through acquisitions or direct support, making the Hanscom network’s footprint that much larger across the force.

“While we try to architect solutions to infrastructure problems, our relationship with the local base impacts how quickly we can come up with new tools, methods and policies,” said Pinder. “When we can do that quickly, it truly affects the entire Air Force.”