The Illinois Air National Guard has taken the first step towards implementing wireless network capabilities by enlisting Telos Corporation to install and sustain a new campus-wide wireless LAN for the 126th Air Refueling Wing (ARW) located at Scott Air Force Base. Acquired through the NETCENTS contract in a $1.5 million purchase, the WLAN will support aircraft generation, recovery and maintenance and wing mobility operations.
WLAN availability will be focused on providing wireless connection to maintenance and logistics systems to improve aircraft maintenance and operations. The goal is to provide wireless coverage across the campus and implement new technologies as a live test site for potential evolution of wireless capabilities across the Air National Guard.
The network will provide real-time access from maintenance areas to the Air Force ' s Core Automated Maintenance System (CAMS), GO81 and Standard Asset Tracking System (SATS). In addition to standard WLAN access, Telos plans to implement deployable networks for use with both NIPRNET and SIPRNET, an RFID real-time location tracking system and voice-over-wireless capability using BlackBerry devices and VoIP phones, and a mobile video surveillance system.
The primary mission of the 126th Air Refueling Wing is to give air refueling support to major Air Force commands as well as other U.S. military forces and the military forces of allied nations. In addition to its refueling capacity, the unit provides capable men and women to aid in national and civil defense and disaster relief.
“With an increasing need for flexible network operations across the Armed Forces, this installation will showcase the wide-ranging benefits of wireless networks, ” said Mike Horn, director of wireless programs at Telos. “ The capabilities of this network should encourage other military sites to evaluate and update their network operations.”
The installation of this new network marks the introduction of the 126th ARW and Scott Air Force Base as the beta-site for the Air National Guard to test new wireless standards and technology in order to advance operational effectiveness. New wireless technologies deployed at this base will be under consideration for future implementation in the Air National Guard as a whole.