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News > Feature - 50 SCS maintains command's deployment tool
50 SCS maintains command's deployment tool

Posted 5/15/2012   Updated 5/16/2012 Email story   Print story

    


by Staff Sgt. Julius Delos Reyes
50th Space Wing Public Affairs


5/15/2012 - SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Consider the enormous job of tracking down information of all equipment, weapon systems, cargo, Airmen's deployment readiness and more. A general from the olden days may have used the archaic system of quill and paper, but present-day commanders have a system that gives them full situational awareness and a big-picture idea of what's happening.

Global Command and Control System is a computerized system of record for strategic command and control functions. It has the capability to display and track data, intelligence data, maps, imagery, overlays, sites, air tasking orders, chemical, biological and radiological data, weather and much more.

Ensuring Air Force Space Command GCCS hardware and software remain viable and are constantly kept current and up to standard falls to the 50th Space Communications Squadron GCCS office.

"We provide hardware maintenance, level one and level two technical, software and help desk support, build systems and support training for Air Force Space Command GCCS users," said Rebecca Goldsmith, 50 SCS GCCS project lead.

Within the space command, the GCCS constellation consists of 13 sites of which five are server sites. Though it's a command function, the office, which consists of contractors and a civilian, manages the whole AFSPC system.

"If a requirement comes in where we have a new user who needs access to the system, we provide them the equipment," said Susan Browning, 50 SCS AFSPC program manager. "Whenever a new software and hardware upgrades come out for the clients and the servers, the support team travels to the sites and performs the upgrade and required training."

Providing system administrator training is also one of the team's missions. Though they don't perform any type of operations with the software, the unit maintains the information gathered in the system and forwards it to U.S. Strategic Command.

Recently, the office upgraded 75 percent of the clients to new software.

"The machines are no longer supportable," Browning said. "The warranties ran out on them so we provided the new hardware to keep them running as well as the upgrades."

The technology refresh also provided the system beefier processing units, Goldsmith said. The clients get the better technology and those units run well.

In the future, the unit will help facilitate the transformation of the AFSPC's GCCS to a common access card-enabled system, as well as managing the upgrade to standard desktop configuration.

GCCS, as a whole, is important to provide situational awareness and visibility to commanders of an area of responsibility, Goldsmith said.

"We are the sole provider of [AFSPC] data into the mission system," she said. "Without our feed, data would not be available to the forward deployed units that require access to that information."

The system includes Deliberate and Crisis Action Planning and Execution Segment, Status of Resources and Training System and Common Operational Picture. The command and control system tracks the AFSPC's readiness, force projection and situational awareness.

As a deployment processing tool, DCAPES is used to track logistics, Airmen's deployment time, location and equipment. Meanwhile, SORTS looks at a unit's status, training and tasks. It shows how many people are in a unit, as well as each individual's Air Force Specialty Code, deployment readiness and more. The COP is designed to give commanders and staffs a graphical picture of their battle space, which includes friendly, enemy and neutral assets.

The integration of all this data into one area enables improved sound mission planning, battle damage assessment and visual display of an air, space, maritime and ground picture.
Browning said teamwork is a huge factor in assuring the continued performance of the many elements and components at multiple geographic locations within the AFSPC GCCS enterprise network.

"Their diligence and close working relationships with the support personnel at the sites are key in keeping AFSPC GCCS resources available," she said. "Without that teamwork effort, it would be hard pressed to manage the program."



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