E-change coming - Maxwell to migrate to AF net

Air University Public Affairs

1/27/2012 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- Maxwell will soon migrate its computer users into a central Air Force Network, or AF Net. Over a nine-week period beginning in March, technicians will begin migrating workstations, network users and email accounts onto AF Net.

The migration is part of an Air Force move to "get away from the MAJCOM-centric networks," said Capt. Christen Scott of the Air Force Network Integration Center at Scott AFB, Ill., who helped deliver the briefing to Air University leadership Tuesday to update base leadership, address concerns and head off potential problems well in advance.

For users, the most visible change will be in the format of email addresses. The migration replaces the old first.last@maxwell.af.mil email address with a standard first.last@us.af.mil address. Regardless of the base or organization assigned, this new address will remain with users for the duration of their career, employment or affiliation with the Air Force. The "maxwell.af.mil" email addresses of current users will still receive email while users are assigned here, but once users depart Maxwell, the old address will cease.

During the migration, some Maxwell users may experience network, Sharepoint or email access interruptions and software and hardware issues. For the majority, user impact is expected to be minimal. Distribution lists will have to be updated, and most Blackberries can be updated in 30 minutes without issues, said Scott.

Organizations on Gunter Annex will not be affected by this current migration, as the units there are expected to migrate to AF Net sometime in 2013.

The AF Net initiative is part of an Air Force-wide push to collapse all base-level and organization-level Air Force, Air Force Reserve, and Air National Guard networks into the AFNet. In Air Education and Training Command, Randolph AFB is among the three large AETC bases that have already made the transition, and 48 organizations across the Air Force have migrated, with lessons learned along the way.

As more bases join the AF Net, Airmen will be able to login to their accounts from any AF Net base without requesting and creating an additional account, allowing easy access to the network during deployments and throughout temporary duty or permanent change of station moves. Sites such as the Air Force Portal, Air Force Personnel Center and Defense Finance Accounting Service will also remain easily accessible regardless of duty location. The migration will also result in a consolidated customer service help desk known as the Enterprise Service Desk, accessible at DSN 945-2900, which will serve as a one-stop shop for the resolution of common user problems.

To help facilitate the change, Maj. Becky Beers, the 42nd Communications Squadron commander, urged users with inboxes over size limits to reduce the size of their inboxes to within limits. "We cannot migrate accounts over size limits," she said.

Users over the limit should have received notifications this week. Those who email attachments are also advised to be aware of the attachment size and send larger files via the Sharepoint instead of over email.

The AF Net migration project represents a major change to how computer networks are managed, and is one of the most complex Department of Defense technology initiatives ever attempted.

Until now, major commands and various other Air Force organizations have been operating independent networks, driven by unique and unit specific requirements. Over the years, this approach led to standardization and security problems, high operation and maintenance costs, and a lack of enterprise situational awareness because no single organization or commander was responsible for the network.

The AF Net migration project addresses these issues and places Air Force cyber operations under the control of a single commander, which is expected to improve the Air Force's ability to fight daily virus activity and malicious intrusion attempts.

Additionally, AF Net migrations will centralize services like email and data storage, significantly improving network security and standardization. Finally, operational and training costs will be reduced through the elimination of redundant systems and services.

As Maxwell approaches its projected start date, a team of AFNIC, 690th Network Support Group and communications technicians are busy preparing equipment and resources to facilitate the migration of almost 13,000 users. To ensure a smooth transition to the AF Net, look in the Dispatch for future generated notices for additional migration related information.

Courtesy of 42nd Communications Squadron and Air University Public Affairs