Four Information Technology professionals from the 95th Communications Squadron were recently notified by Paul Parker, Air Force Materiel Command, Installations and Mission Support director of communications, that they won their respective Information Dominance Awards categories for 2011.
Information Dominance is an umbrella term for all of the varied technical skills required to ensure that the Air Force network and the information that travels over it is safe and secure.
The four winners are Tech. Sgt. Matthew Reyes, Staff Sgt. Michael Burd, Senior Airman Robert Sotler, and April Narramore. While all 95th CS personnel contributed hugely to the overall success of Edwards in meeting its Information Dominance mission in 2011, these cyber warriors demonstrated singular achievements.
Reyes achieved the bulk of accomplishments listed in his award during while deployed for 213 days to forward operating locations where he ran an Army network outside the wire. He lead a team that launched an “eye in the sky,” an autonomous blimp that watched their perimeter 24/7. He also provided oversaw a video telecommunications center for a Combat Stress Clinic that allowed soldiers experiencing stresses related to their forward operating position to phone home and talk to their family, friends and counselors stateside. Reyes also scrounged for parts, equipment and permission to build a morale network for 300 Central Command Airmen. His citation says Reyes continually innovated and “pulled it out,” epitomizing creativity, leadership and urgency in leading an 11-member work center in successfully providing information technology service to 3,500 NATO personnel located in Afghanistan.
Burd lead a team that convinced the 83rd Integrated Network Operations and Security Center at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., to allow video relay service to run across the Air Force’s network. Here at Edwards, video relay is a new capability that permits deaf and hard of hearing employees to use video phones to see sign language interpreters who interpret speech into American Sign Language enabling deaf employees to participate in meetings, have telephone conversations and communicate with their colleagues.
“This capability is another step into the future we are working toward – real-time communication where voice, video and data are easily accessible from your desktop,” said Lt. Col. Keith A. Repik, 95th CS commander. Now that video is allowed on the network, 95th CS has acquired six video phones and is in the process of installing them on the network for use by Team Edwards members who have a documented hearing disability and are fluent in ASL.
Among the achievements for which Sotler was recognized was greasing the wheels for a $100 million process improvement in the 95th Medical Group. He modified critical IT settings in EAFB firewalls that enabled the 95th MDG to bring on base an IT system that enables local processing of clinic blood draws. Now clinic doctors and patrons get blood panel results in half the time.
Narramore was lauded for being Dean of the IT University for which she lead the effort to provide the 359 members of the 95th CS the opportunity to enhance their customer service and leadership skills by attending a series of 14 courses offered throughout 2011. Narramore worked with multiple vendors to tailor their course offerings to meet the particular challenges faced by service providers in the communications squadron. She surveyed the squadron and produced a CS training matrix, enabling her to choose the best classes to align with the skills required for optimum job performance.
“Through the tumult of 2011, the capability of the 95th CS increased. We provided better service while maintaining our resiliency and our commitments to our customers. I am very proud to serve with this team,” said Repik.