ARNOLD AIR FORCE BASE, Tenn. —
All HP 705 G3 desktop and HP 640 G3 laptop computers at Arnold Air Force Base are being upgraded with newer models that have more memory, speed and solid-state drives.
According to Randy Wroten, a contracting officer at Arnold, as computer quantities allow, the next level of computers will be upgraded as well.
“This will position Arnold Engineering Development Complex in an extremely good spot, in terms of our IT [information technology],” he said.
The total number of computers replaced with newer models during this surge will be around 2,000.
This effort, led by a group of 11 computer network technicians, or CNTs, began the last week of July and is currently several weeks ahead of schedule.
“We should be finished with this project by Thanksgiving,” said Cletus Pew, Client Services lead with the Base Communications and Information Technology Services II contractor. “As of the first of October, we have installed about 1,000 computers since we started the end of July.”
Pew added that the CNTs have worked many 12-hour days while working on this project.
“We have an elite team of CNTs,” he said. “We wouldn’t have been able to do it without our team, software support, our storekeeper who delivers the computers and the support of the Air Force. We are also working with Brandon Beckwith, the communications focal point contracting officer representative, who has been a huge help.”
The new computers are a step in an Air Force-wide effort to improve devices and networks, among other digital tools needed for mission success.
“We have the best pilots in the world, we have incredible air platforms. But we haven’t gotten to the level of discipline in the way that we provision services to say ‘the network will be up 99.9999% of the time and you know it will be there and you know that this is who you’re holding accountable for that’,” Lauren Knausenberger, the Air Force’s chief information officer, said in an August interview with GovExec TV at the Department of the Air Force IT and Cyberpower conference.
The CIO’s recently released interim information-technology strategy can be viewed online: https://www.safcn.af.mil/Portals/64/Documents/Strategy/INTERIM%20CIO%20Strategy.pdf?ver=3Wr9Bcz5ELC-vBJe9ztssA%3d%3d
Also, in June of this year, the Air Force Materiel Command released $8 million in support of multiple innovations across the enterprise. The funded projects support ongoing AFMC We Need efforts with an emphasis on technology, innovation, talent management and infrastructure across the mission.
Of the funding, $4.8 million is to fund the purchase of more than 4,100 laptops and ensure that those Airmen across the command who are currently working with the oldest systems receive computers that meet IT compliance standards.