Telework capabilities quickly being enhanced to meet high demand

The 88th Communications Squadron is working in conjunction with 16th Air Force to provide as much capability as possible to perform operations remotely. Today’s network was not engineered to support the level of telework that is trying to be executed, but changes are being made daily (sometime hourly) to make improvements.

The following information is intended to help maximize your telework experience while the network tries to catch up with the demand. The biggest takeaway now: only use what you need, when you need it.

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Current telework capabilities that are available include: Meet-Me numbers, SharePoint sites, government mobile devices (Blackberry Unified Endpoint Management – BUEM), and Virtual Private Network (End User Remote Access Management – EURAM, commonly known as VPN).

What the Air Force is doing to improve telework capabilities?

• EURAM (VPN): Deployed to laptops and tablets early on March 12 to end users. VPN connections have been increased from 10K to 60K+ Air Force wide, and staff is constantly monitoring and making network configuration changes to increase reliability and speed.

• Streaming traffic: Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) at the Department of Defense level has blocked all streaming traffic (YouTube, Pandora, etc.) to ensure network bandwidth is available for mission execution.

• Inbound phone lines: At the start, “Meet-Me” lines overwhelmed available inbound phone lines to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, which blocked incoming calls around the base. By working with the base’s service provider, a configuration change increased the base’s max inbound phone connections from 166 to 708. A work order was submitted to purchase even more phone lines, which should be completed within the next week.

• Network bandwidth: Working closely with DISA and Air Force program executive officers, Air Force Acquisition, Wright-Patt increased its network bandwidth from 2.5 gigabits a second to 3.5 gigabits a second. New hardware is currently being configured for installation within the next week, which will increase bandwidth to between 7G/s to 10G/s.

What can I do to improve my telework?

• Only use what you need, when you need it – If you only need to get on email, use OWA; this frees up VPN connections and bandwidth for those who need greater access.

• Update your signature block with the phone number you can be reached at if you are not at your desk.

• Use the VPN outside peak usage windows (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.); consider alternating shifts within your sections.

• Connect your laptop/tablet to the VPN for at least two consecutive hours during nights or weekends to receive updates and patches once a week to free up usage and bandwidth during the day.

• Try different a different certificate when connecting to OWA, VPN, etc.

What are common errors when trying to connect to the VPN client?

• “Credentials or account could not be found”: Ensure you are choosing your common access card authentication certificate and not your CAC email certificate

• “Access denied by Access Policy” or “Session could not be established”: he selected VPN server is at capacity; try a different VPN server or try again outside peak times

How do I know my computer name (usually asked when submitting a ticket)?

• Right click on START button and select “system.” Scroll down to “device name.” This is your computer name

Can VPN be restricted to the most essential personnel?

• There are no “prioritized access” or “restricted access” mechanisms available to restrict access.

• Restrictions on VPN use would need to be part of organizational policy and executed through users’ self-discipline.

• 16 AF is working to create more availability/access to AFNet resources.

Will machines that haven’t been on the net for a while be kicked off the domain?

• 16 AF is looking at ways to adjust this policy, but no changes yet.

What do I do if I can’t get my VPN to connect?

• Exhaust all other telework options (OWA, SharePoint, etc.)

• Be prepared to bring your laptop to base; technicians cannot go to private residences to troubleshoot.

Once you have exhausted all other avenues, contact client support service.

Organizations serviced by 88th Communications Squadron can call the Cyber Operations Center at 937-656-2666; they will give you a ticket number.

If the problem can’t be solved over the phone, you will be instructed to bring your laptop to one of two locations:

1. Client Support COOP Facility: 2372 Lake View Drive, Suite H, Beavercreek, Ohio. Client support technicians onsite with assist in troubleshooting your laptop.

2. On-base to your office/desk to connect to the network for remote support. Once connected to the network, contact our COOP Client Support team (7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) at 937-490-4660 or 904-0VPN (0876). The technician will ask for your ticket number and computer name. The next available technician will remotely connect to your computer to assist; you may use your computer normally while you wait for a technician

Please have patience as call volume has increased significantly.

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