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Eielson completes information systems certification, accreditation
Airman 1st Class Arnel Nadal, 354th Communications Squadron, network control center client systems apprentice, adjusts wires on an information system Jan. 14, 2014 Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. Cyber Icemen recently completed the required Air Force information systems Certification and Accreditation program for the base, ensuring continued network access across all base agencies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joshua Turner)
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Eielson completes information systems certification, accreditation

Posted 1/16/2014   Updated 1/16/2014 Email story   Print story


by Staff Sgt. Kirsten Wicker
354th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

1/16/2014 - EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska  -- Cyber Icemen recently completed the required Air Force information systems Certification and Accreditation program for the base, ensuring continued network access across all base agencies.

The program is a Defense Department and Air Force-wide requirement of the Information Assurance program that must be performed by every base in the service. Eielson is one of only three bases in Pacific Air Forces and one of only 10 bases across the Air Force to entirely complete the Certification and Accreditation process.

"The process ensures the base is meeting all security requirements and that our information systems are configured to DoD and Air Force standards for data integrity, availability and confidentiality," said Master Sgt. Robert Colwell, 354th Communications Squadron superintendent of plans and resources. "We are given a checklist of various controls that we have to go through line-by-line with every information system on base to ensure compliance."

The Certification and Accreditation program is a complex process, taking more than 12 months and 1,000 man-hours of coordination, approval and guidance.

"Myself and Senior Airman Justin McGuire [354th CS wing emission security manager] worked through the checklist, but it couldn't have been done without the combined team effort of the entire communications squadron and multiple external units on base. McGuire tracked our progress and scheduled coordination for working on sections of the program with base agencies," Colwell said. "It was my job to go in there and translate what each control meant and ensure we met the standard or show how to implement a fix if we weren't in compliance."

Once the process is completed, the DoD grants the Authority to Connect and the Air Force grants the Authority to Operate in the information environment of the DoD Information Network. The base must demonstrate high network security and satisfy policy requirements for operating during an emergency in order to receive continued network access.

"It is a Federal requirement that every base be able to function in the event of a natural disaster or enemy attack," said Simon Azua, 354th CS chief of wing Information Assurance. "Part of this Certification and Accreditation process means that Eielson is prepared to operate should any emergency occur that would cause a loss of power or connectivity in some way."

With the Certification and Accreditation now complete, Eielson will not be required to undergo the process again for three years. The connection approval decision is guaranteed and ensures base agencies' continued access to the information systems network environment.

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