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Guarding Cyberspace

By 2nd Lt. Benjamin Aronson | 15th Wing Public Affairs | Nov. 19, 2020

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii --
Security is important on a military installation, from gates and guards to fences and ID checks, but another aspect of base security involves communications and cyberspace.

The 747th Communications Squadron (CS) Plans and Resource Flight ensures that communications security (COMSEC) and cybersecurity are safeguarded for Airmen here.

“We ensure and maintain the network integrity and health of the unclassified and classified Hickam networks,” said 1st Lt. Ethan Sneider, 747th CS Wing Cybersecurity Office officer in charge. “For the COMSEC shop, we enable and provision secure communications for different weapons platforms.”

The unit supports 130 Department of Defense agencies spanning six islands and five airframes including the KC-135, C-17, C-37, C-40, and F-22 making it the largest COMSEC account in Pacific Air Forces.

“We focus on secure voice communication, GPS connection, certain flight control systems, video feeds, and weapon systems for the aircraft,” said Tech. Sgt. Julius Perry, 747th CS Wing Communications Security noncommissioned officer in charge. “Being able to communicate effectively with mission partners is paramount to success.”

The 747th CS is responsible for JBPHH’s networks and U.S. Indo-Pacific’s network protection.

Protecting the Air Force’s communications and cyber is not just the 747th CS’s job, but every Airman’s. Any Airman who works on a secure network has the ability to allow adversaries access if they are not careful.

“You have to take it seriously,” said Staff Sgt. Kameron Andre, 747th CS COMSEC supervisor. “You have the ability to harm people at our base, and others if you aren’t careful with COMSEC.”

“What I do in COMSEC may be way behind the scenes, but my other COMSEC technicians and I know when we show up, we make a difference,” said Perry. “I am proud to provide a service each and every day.”

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