Keeping the Communications Clear

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Marc A. Garcia
  • 22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

The 22nd Communications Squadron Cyber Operations Center provided Team McConnell the same fast, reliable and necessary communications to continue their mission while taking on a new mission to command and control cyber operations throughout the fight against COVID-19.


Normally, the CyOC processes over 700 work orders and trouble tickets monthly with eight Airmen. After a month into the minimal manning restrictions, they resolved 523 mission critical and essential tickets with only two Airmen.


 During the initial stages of the coronavirus pandemic, the CyOC maintained a strong cybersecurity stance and led the first-ever cyber defense response for the KC-46 Pegasus.


“I am extremely proud of how my team stepped up to the challenge,” said Tech. Sgt. Abel Tuinei, 22nd CS CyOC section chief. “They knocked it out of the park with their high level of resilience, adaptability and professionalism.”


The CyOC also controls and executes all cyber operations and workflow from U.S. Cyber Command and 16th Air Force for Team McConnell. With the change in health protection condition level from Bravo to Charlie, communication capabilities were crucial to McConnell’s growing teleworking personnel.


Yet, providing remote access support presented some unique challenges for the communication’s team. The continuous effort to become resourceful for McConnell’s remote workforce was a challenge the CyOC faced.


“Due to the majority of McConnell’s personnel teleworking, the CyOC had to quickly become self-taught experts on multiple new applications, teleworking capabilities and cyber operations response,” said Tuinei.


The team had to become familiar with new applications in Non-classified Internet Protocol Router and Secret Internet Protocol Router networks. Tuinei said the team is always learning the ins and outs of new applications.


Working through minimal manning and adapting to base operational changes from COVID-19, the CyOC continued to provide support to more than 7,000 Total Force Integrated personnel across McConnell.


As the new normal continues to evolve, so does the CyOC’s support and cyber operation capabilities.