By Airman 1st Class Kevin Sommer Giron
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
The 19th Communications Squadron Client Systems Airmen maintain and troubleshoot a vast cyber network of approximately 8,000 computers at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas.
The cyber mission reaches all facets of Combat Airlift from maintainers doing technical orders and scheduling aircraft on the flightline to personnel managing files and information at their desks.
“Our mission is to ensure all network computers are up and running from the jack in the wall to the desktop software,” said Airman 1st Class Stephanie Wilkie, 19th CS Client Systems technician. “We ensure everyone has access to what they need to accomplish the mission.”
The tech savvy Airmen are the central hub for ensuring a secure and accessible computer network. They are tasked with sending out security updates, patches and installing new software while also providing essential customer support.
“Almost everything is connected through technology now-a-days, whether on the web or through a cloud,” said Master Sgt. Mark Jenkins, 19th CS client support section chief. “I’m blessed to say that I work with some pretty phenomenal and smart Airmen, who are skilled in what they do and help others understand it, too.”
From a computer’s hardware to its software, the client systems Airmen can remotely access a computer from their office or go on location to troubleshoot an issue.
“Customer support is the most important aspect of what we do,” Jenkins said. “We immediately get called when someone can’t get to a mission system, run a program or communicate with one another. All that is a crucial role in Combat Airlift, and we are a great mission enabler.”
The cyber Airmen accomplish their work through processed tickets and work orders. One way they perform preventative maintenance is by pushing software updates to all computers at once.
“It’s important our computers are always updated and secure in case of an emergency,” Wilkie said. “Communication is critical to the different audiences inside and outside the base. When it comes down to the real mission of what we do, it is to ensure communication is always there.”
Air Mobility Command leans forward in new technology. As Windows 10, a computer operating system, is integrated onto Little Rock AFB computers, the 19th CS Airmen are far ahead of the projected completion time.
“We transitioned 15 percent of the base in one month,” Jenkins said. “The Air Force’s goal is to be done by early next year, but we are targeting to be done by fall of this year.”
Client Systems Airmen are cyber warriors working behind the scenes to ensure base operations run smoothly. They maintain and support a vast cyber domain that contributes to mission success across all aspects of Combat Airlift.