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718th Intelligence Squadron “Cyber Warriors” lead the way in “Cloud” computing

Staff Sgt. Austin Davidson, 718th IS cyber systems transport technician, provides instruction on a new training program, built on the Amazon Web Service “Cloud” platform, currently underway at the 655th Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Wing, 718th Intelligence Squadron. This innovative new program will provide hands-on training modules mapped to core tasks in the Training Business Area (TBA).

Staff Sgt. Austin Davidson, 718th IS cyber systems transport technician, provides instruction on a new training program, built on the Amazon Web Service “Cloud” platform, currently underway at the 655th Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Wing, 718th Intelligence Squadron. This innovative new program will provide hands-on training modules mapped to core tasks in the Training Business Area (TBA).

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio --

The development of a new training program, built on the Amazon Web Service “Cloud” platform, is underway at the 655th Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Wing, 718th Intelligence Squadron.

This innovative new program will provide hands-on training modules mapped to core tasks in the Training Business Area (TBA).

As part of a larger effort to build a fully-functional learning lab with both physical and virtual infrastructure, this cloud-based training will serve three cyber career fields. The training program will be built on the vast experience and talent that both the full-time and reserve members have gained in their careers, further allowing the 718th IS to expertly influence and enhance the active duty mission at DGS-1.

Cloud computing platforms like AWS offer a drastically more efficient information processing environment.  Since infrastructure, platform and software are all offered “as a service”, the customer only pays for what they use.  Because these services are in a virtual environment, entire networks can be created from scratch in seconds.  

Recognizing these benefits, many are adopting the Cloud platform of computing, and the U.S. Intelligence Community is no exception. Among many other benefits, the AWS Marketplace for the U.S. IC provides the ability to have all the benefits of cloud computing without the security risk of being connected to the public internet.  Amazon also developed the Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), which offers a wide variety of services including computing, developer tools, and machine learning.

In recent months, members of the 718th IS have been leading the charge to make efficient and timely use of the AWS resources, to include a yearly $10,000 developmental operations budget, made available by the 480th ISR Wing. They accomplish this by working alongside their active- duty counterparts.

Spearheading this effort are Reserve Airmen Staff Sgt. Philip Howard, 718th IS cyber systems operator, and Staff Sgt. Randy Devlin, 718th IS cyber systems transport technician, who drew on their knowledge of AWS from civilian careers. These Airman leaders have taken on the challenge of leading the reserve IC into the future of integrated cloud services.

“The 718th is providing Total Force value by leveraging Reserve Airman expertise to teach Active Duty Airmen on the most effective uses for AWS as the Department of Defense leans forward with the Secretary of Defense strategic direction for modernizing mission systems in the Cloud,” said Philip.

Staff Sgt. Austin Davidson, 718th IS cyber systems transport technician, and Staff Sgt. Alexander Stefan-Cherry, 718th cyber systems operator,  are also working to integrate upgrade training records in TBA with AWS services. This effort will provide a series of training modules where new airmen can train themselves in a lab environment.

Additionally, 718th IS Airmen are developing a sandbox environment which aligns itself to the cloud architecture of Open Architecture.

“In doing so, the 718th will expose both Reserve and active duty cyber technicians to the underlying components that OA is built upon which will better equip these technicians to support their mission,” said Austin.

The 655 Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing is dedicated to serving as the premier and most diverse ISR Group in the United States Air Force, delivering timely, reliable, accurate and actionable intelligence products enabling a decision advantage over adversaries of the United States.  The 655th is an independent wing under 10th Air Force, Air Force Reserve Command, headquartered at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH, and consists of two Groups and 14 intelligence squadrons (IS) across Ohio, California, Texas, Nebraska, Virginia, Florida and Maryland conducting 10 distinct missions.  For exciting and rewarding career opportunities with the 655 ISRG, please contact your local Air Force Reserve recruiter or call 937-257-8117.