Col. Thomas P. Sherman, 88th Air Base Wing installation commander

Col. Sherman, installation commander, addresses the Wright-Patt Team

Dear Team Wright-Patterson,

During these extraordinary times, we know that accurate and relevant information is important to all of you. Please know that we will do everything we can to keep you informed as we collectively combat the spread of COVID-19. With that, we wanted to provide you some of the latest updates to the installation in light of changes we’ve seen.

Stay up to date with us

One of the greatest enemies we face right now is misinformation. We are committed to providing you the latest information as we get it. I encourage everyone to stay connected to our website: www.wpafb.af.mil/corona and the official Facebook www.facebook.com/WPAFB/.

Goldfein emphasizes protecting force while fulfilling missions

Wright-Patterson Medical Center

Patients and visitors will now enter through the Atrium or Clinic/MRI entrances where a series of screening questions will be asked. Our staff will enter through the designated *Staff BADGE Only* entrances, in the back of the MTF, after completing their screening requirements.

Supporting the Force

With Governor Mike DeWine’s most recent guidance across the State of Ohio, we want to be good partners in the effort to combat the spread of this virus. With that, our Mission Support Group has been very busy trying to provide the correct balance in providing on and off duty activities. Based on these recent changes, we are announcing significant changes to their operations, and please check the facility closures listing for more information.

Our Child Development Center staff is working very hard to maintain this important service to our employees. We are engaging directly with our families and evaluating impacts to our operations daily. We will be discussing this topic specifically in the town hall, so please stay tuned.

We have also provided a more comprehensive list that can be found on the Wright-Patterson website. This list will be updated regularly and we will ensure that changes are posted to our website, our Force Support Squadron site, and through Public Affairs messages.

While On-Base and trying to execute social distancing:

Here on Wright-Patterson we have been ramping up our ability to work even from great distances, so now is the time to flex our ability to keep those communication lines open in any circumstance.

MS Teams & Skype: Allows communication, file sharing, and even video telecommunications. Desktop webcams are authorized and laptop/tablet cameras can be activated. Desktop webcams can be obtained by going through your local cybersecurity liaison. If you need your laptop webcam activated, please contact our Cyber Operations Center (CyOC) at 937-656-2666.

Voice Telecons (Meet-Me Numbers): Limited to a max of 50 connections per meet-me conference. This is a good option for small virtual meetings. If a large number of personnel are calling from off base into a meet-me number, it could quickly overwhelm our 164 in-bound phone lines. Scheduling can be done via SharePoint: https://www.tsf.wpafb.af.mil/MeetMe/ScheduleConference or calling the CyOC at 937-656-2666 if SharePoint is unavailable.

While Off-Base:

Many of our personnel are working off base in this environment, so make sure you know all your options.

TELEWORK

We have received a number of questions about telework. Under our current operating environment your commanders and directors have the authority to make decisions regarding the day-to-day operations of their organizations and how they want to employ telework options for their workforce. We want to do everything we can to support you and your leadership.

Virtual Private Network (limit use when possible)

New AF EURAM VPN client was pushed to laptops and tablets recently and increased available connections from 10K to 60K+ Air Force wide. All VPN traffic is now routed through one of four bases: Wright-Patterson AB, Scott AFB, JBPH-Hickam, and Ramstein AB. There are a few things to remember when using this network: All VPN network traffic competes with normal base network traffic, so you can still see a slowdown when everyone gets on the network at once. With that, a significant increase in VPN users Air Force-wide does decrease Wright-Patterson’s network availability along with the three other gateway bases. It also needs to be mentioned that it was not developed as a pandemic response capability, because even when only 10% of the total force of Airmen are using it, the system overloads.

No VPN required (but requires CAC enabled software/hardware):

So to help mitigate some of the strain on VPN, here are some options you can use that do not require it’s use to access your work:

Email: accessible through Outlook web access: https://owa.us.af.mil/

File Sharing: SharePoint; use the same URL for SharePoint pages as on-base (SharePoint is now accessible via commercial internet)

Voice: Maximize use of Government smart phones (BUEM devices) and ensure all Recall Rosters are updated/available

Disrupted On-Base/Off-Base Communications:

We have found the use of Slack, a commercial solution similar to Microsoft Teams, has been helping fill the gap for some offices. It provides file sharing and collaborations with unique channels were those who see it can be monitored. It has both desktop accessibility though a website and mobile through an app, and can be used on and off network. The big catch is that it can NOT be used for Official Use Only (FOUO), Personally Identifiable Information (PII), or replace official C2 conduits.

Our hope is everyone has an understanding of our capabilities and limitations when it comes to communications alternatives. Again, I encourage everyone to use only the resources you need to accomplish you mission to ensure everyone continues to have the ability to connect.

As I have said before, we are strong, we are resilient, and together we can get through anything. Thank you for your teamwork and understanding as we navigate these extraordinary times.

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