Leadership from the 8th Communications Squadron pose for a photo at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Feb. 27, 2019. Kunsan became the first overseas Air Force base to have upgraded their email and increase storage size, paving the way for other bases to do the same. (Photo by (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Stefan Alvarez))
KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- "Editor’s Note: This is the fourth article in a series designed to highlight innovative efforts, large and small, that are improving infrastructure at Kunsan Air Base. These both save the Air Force money and improve mission readiness for generations of Airmen to come.
The United State Air Force’s role in the Department of Defense is to secure and maintain superiority in Air, Space, and Cyberspace. Kunsan Air Base took a giant step in February to ensure it maintains that superiority and has the best technology to support the mission.
Previously, email at Kunsan—and across the Air Force—had a limited data capacity, which meant storage space for emails was used up quickly, forcing individuals to frequently delete emails to make more space or keep them on the computer’s hard drive, limiting their overall communication capabilities.
Kunsan became the first overseas base in the Air Force to have upgraded to the new cloud-hosted enterprise service (CHES), serving as a test for the Air Force Network Integration Center (AFNIC) to see how an overseas base would perform during and after the migration.
“As part of an Air Force-wide effort to bring our infrastructure into the 21st Century, Kunsan will gain greater capability by leveraging commercial sector expertise and technology on an enterprise scale without committing additional resources,” said Maj. George Tolis, 8th Communications Squadron commander. “Simply put, this is the first of several giant leaps forward that will provide Airmen across base with state-of-the art email and chat collaboration capabilities, as well as ease the daily operations and maintenance of the network by 8th Communications Squadron Airmen.”
On a strategic level, those small changes can have a large impact for not only daily email management, but real mission impacts based on improved efficiency, he added.
“It’s a pretty significant upgrade,” said 2nd Lt. Kaelyn Huizenga, 8th Communications Squadron deputy flight commander of cyber operations. “We went from 90 megabytes to 99 gigabytes, which means we probably won’t ever have to delete an email during our one year tour here, and can maintain more efficient communications between units and personnel.”
The 8th CS ensured that all of the units on Kunsan had a smooth transition into the newly upgraded email, which enabled all members of the 8th Fighter Wing to maintain important correspondence and information longer, further enhancing the base’s mission. The cloud migration will provide future generations of Airmen the cyber infrastructure and reliability they need to perform their jobs at a high level and continue to hone their competency.