Looking at future AF IT services

Lt. Col. Heather Uhl, 50th Space Communications Squadron commander. (Courtesy photo)

Lt. Col. Heather Uhl, 50th Space Communications Squadron commander. (Courtesy photo)


Information technology is like the weather here in Colorado; if you don’t like it, just wait five minutes. 

In fact, IT isn’t just constantly changing, it is accelerating. This acceleration produced smart phones, portable personal computers and internet technology, all of which are now integral to our daily lives. 

The Air Force IT landscape is changing as well.  Although this change can be difficult to cope with (e.g. the migration to the Air Force Network), the end result will justify the transition.  During the next couple of years, users will see stark changes to their IT experience. 

If you’re tired of seeing the message “your mailbox is full” when you attempt to send or receive mail, you’re in luck.  The Air Force is moving to Office 365, allowing traditional users to go from 90-megabyte email size to a 50-gigabyte inbox with an additional 100-gigabyte of online archives – that’s an increase of over 55,500 percent in email size alone. 

Going to the cloud will also give users the added benefit of Microsoft OneDrive; a 1-terabyte personal storage solution that affords users the opportunity to access their files from any common access card-enabled location as well as saving files locally while syncing changes to the cloud.  OneDrive also enables users to share files across their drives to collaborate with other users.  OneDrive, paired with SharePoint Online, will offer Air Force users a powerful set of solutions.

In addition to an improved online presence, there are plans in the works to allow for a more mobile computing experience.  Base Infrastructure Transformation Initiative will modernize Schriever’s current wireless access points allowing expanded laptop use.  There are also options on the horizon to marry laptops with Skype for business video teleconference capabilities, allowing personnel to utilize approved cameras to video chat across the Air Force domain. 

The Air Force recognizes the symbiotic relationship between the warfighter and IT tools; although, fielding robust and secure IT systems for the warfighter can prove a time consuming and vexing experience for the customer.  There are many layers of support required to manage an enterprise architecture as large as the AFNET, and sometimes those layers are difficult to navigate.  

The Air Force understands this, and going forward our service is committed to providing trusted information to Airmen when and where they need it.