COVID-19 operations: Connecting global communications

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Devin Nothstine
  • 691st Cyberspace Operations Squadron

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany – The 691st Cyberspace Operations Squadron provides the capability to practice physical distancing while maintaining mission success in response to the spread of coronavirus disease 2019.

Airmen assigned to the 691st COS lead the way not only for U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa but also numerous bases globally. These Airmen have provided the ability to now stay connected at home to maintain mission readiness, responsiveness and resiliency for U.S. forces.

“We don’t just support USAFE, we can support anybody worldwide,” said Lt. Col. Rebecca Russo, 691st COS commander. “Our [cyberspace operations] squadrons are spread-out for a reason; to be globally focused and regionally placed.”

The equipment and system currently in use is intended to afford select command and control positions access to the network, shared drives and communication connectivity while working at an alternate duty location. However, 691st COS Airmen found an alternative, increasing the availability through virtual, private networks for thousands of members to telework.

“Expanding this capability and using the equipment to its full capacity allows members to work from home, if needed, to limit the spread of COVID-19,” said Master Sgt. Jerome Dyer, 691st COS network management section chief.

These capabilities allow bases, such as the 86th Airlift Wing, to continue their mission and generate airlift while keeping the health of the force as a top priority.

“We love our partnership here,” said Russo. “We are globally focused (with) a regional understanding of the importance of everything that USAFE brings to the fight in a moment’s notice.”

The work that the Airmen at the 691st COS provide showcases the Air Force’s ability to quickly adapt to any situation, sustain mission readiness and protect its force.