Science and Technology News

Friday, December 11, 2015

Cyber units reorganize, CYSS remains vital

by Airman 1st Class Kiana Brothers
375 Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

12/11/2015 - SCOTT AFB, Ill. -- From the small microchip embedded in your common access card to the world of cyberspace, the Cyber Support Squadron, or CYSS, at Scott has a hand in it all. They provide Air Force Space Command with the cyber expertise required to manage cyberspace-lead programs and activities.

Air Force Network Integration Center recently divided into different squadrons. CYSS previously was part of AFNIC and not long ago was re-designated as their own squadron. During its transition, CYSS took on a very big part of AFNIC.

"Virtually every organization in the Air Force is dependent on cyberspace to accomplish its mission," said Lt. Col. Robert Biggers, CYSS commander. "These dependencies are not always obvious, but whether you are in a force support squadron or a fighter squadron, business and operations will come to a standstill without it."

CYSS's support goes as far as providing field support to the Air Force, defining enterprise requirements for the new cyber systems, managing the sustainment of existing systems, and assisting Headquarters AFSPC with programs in the planning, programming, budgeting and execution activities.

CYSS is also involved with the development of new requirements, system sustainment for programs like the Presidential Global Communications System, weapon system modifications, Air Force Cyber Defense, Secret Internet Protocol Router DoD-Enterprise Email (SIPR DEE), and many more.

Chief Master Sgt. Andrew Mathias, said, "Everything we do has an Air Force-wide impact from e-Learning, e-publishing, the Air Force Portal to the many weapon systems we support. All these things are touched by people here."

During Lt. Col. Robert Biggers, CYSS commander's, tour at Aviano, a network went down for about a week and missions came to a halt. Flying missions along with the Force Support Squadron, maintenance, and many other units on base came to a standstill.

The lieutenant colonel was asked why units like FSS and maintenance were closed during this time.

Biggers said, "If workers can't order parts or run equipment using the internet, it is hard to open up for business to the base."

Scott supports and hosts many Air Force servers. When a server goes down, CYSS is a call away for assistance because of the partnership Scott has with them.

"The base provides all our local communications, and we use that a lot," said Mathias. "We spend a lot of time on the phone and DCOs."

A maintainer may just turn a wrench, but it also leads to that fighter being able to complete its mission down the line, but if the maintainer can't make that connection all they see is the fact that they are turning wrenches, said Biggers.

"It's easy to not realize the overall impact, so I want my squadron to make the correlation between what they are doing and the big Air Force," he said. "Sometimes that doesn't happen, we just get wrapped up in the everyday job, but almost everything we do in the Air Force has a connection to the war fighter."

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