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News > Feature - AFNet ADX Migration Project
AFNet ADX Migration Project

Posted 7/19/2012   Updated 7/19/2012 Email story   Print story

    


from 82nd Communications Squadron
82nd Comm. Sq.


7/19/2012 - SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, TEXAS -- The day is fast approaching when all Air Force personnel will have the ability to log onto the network from any Air Force base and access their e-mail, calendar, tasks file shares, SharePoint sites and many other applications/services just as if they were at their home station. On 20 Aug 2012 Sheppard will begin migrating from its current network into what is known as the Air Force Network (AFNet) under the AF's Active Directory and Exchange (ADX) migration project!

As part of the Air Force Communication Community's effort to improve network connectivity, this migration will allow the "total force" access to information regardless of their location. Through the use of CAC enabled computers, users will now have 24/7/365 access from not only home station, but also from TDY and deployed Air Force locations around the world.

So what exactly does the term "network migration" really mean? In essence, all member network and e-mail accounts (including PDA's), as well as shared information files will migrate from the AETC network into the AFNet. While most of these changes will be transparent to the user, the most noticeable will be in the format of e-mail addresses. The migration replaces the old first.last@sheppard.af.mil e-mail address with the standard first.last@us.af.mil e-mail address, allowing central management of these accounts. If more than one person has the same first and last name, the standard will be first.last.#@us.af.mil. In addition to global access to information and e-mail, Airmen will be assigned a permanent e-mail address they will carry throughout their career, and no matter how many times they change duty stations, will never change.

So what will the migration do for me?

As previously mentioned, once an account is created, it remains for a career. One huge advantage here is that no matter where you are in the TDY, deployment or PCS process, you'll have an active and functioning e-mail account you can use as long as you have access to a CAC and CAC enabled machine. In the past, Airmen had to wait for a new account to be created each time they went TDY, deployed, or PCS'd, and with one centrally managed network and a lifelong account, this wait will be eliminated leading to increased productivity and efficiency. One point worth noting however is until the entire AF migrates, there will still be instances where a user's e-mail address will revert back to the old style if the base or MAJCOM assigned has not yet migrated. While the us.af.mil address will still work, it will direct your e-mail back to the account created at your new base. Rest assured that post migration e-mail will appear/function the same as before, and users will still be able to access common applications such as reading/composing e-mail, access tasks, calendars, contact list and shared files.

Some other noticeable benefits include information security and a reduction in the time it takes to patch computer systems and eliminate potential vulnerabilities. The migration will also result in a consolidated customer service help desk called the Enterprise Service Desk (ESD). The ESD will serve as a "one-stop" shop for the resolution of common user problems and can be reached at DSN 945-2900, or Commercial at (210) 925-2900.

How will I be notified of the migration?

The migration will be completed in phases, and in close coordination with the local communications squadron. Migration information will flow a number of ways, and will include computer screen pop-ups, e-mail, base newspaper articles, and the use of the AF link/portal. Each unit will be notified individually and asked to follow a few simple steps to help ensure a successful migration. Included in these directions will be detailed steps on how to create back-up and .PST files, and will be sent via e-mail just prior to the migration. A unit-by-unit migration schedule will also be developed, and when approved by senior leadership, will be released to Sheppard AFB users to help minimize impact to normal operations.

Because it could take up to two days for new account to be replicated across the Air Force, an official notice will also be sent via the AF Portal informing users that Sheppard AFB e-mail addresses may not immediately be recognized in the Global Address List (GAL).

The 82d Communications Squadron will send separate and specific instructions concerning Personal Digital Assistant (PDAs) and how to move mail to Exchange servers to prevent deletion. Local Client System Administrators (CSAs) will be available to lend assistance and prevent the loss of data.

As with any change, there will challenges, however, the benefits are great--and we only touched on a few! The AFNet and ESD will provide us greater flexibility and ease of management of the network enterprise. Further information is available through your local communications squadron or by accessing the FAQs through the following link: https://eis.af.mil/cs/afnet/majcom/default.aspx



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