LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Texas—Airman 1st Class Beau Cantrell, 47th Communications Squadron cyber transport technician was chosen by wing leadership to be the “XLer” of the week, for the week of Sept. 17, 2018, at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas.
The “XLer” award, presented by Col. Charlie Velino, 47th Flying Training Wing commander, is given to those who consistently make outstanding contributions to their unit and the Laughlin mission.
Cantrell, hailing from Hot Springs, Arkansas, attacked a critical network error that affected more than 1,700 computers at Laughlin. He was able to identify and address what went wrong, restoring internet for 22 units in less than three days.
“The world revolves around technology and being able to resolve this issue ensured that the mission would continue,” Cantrell said. “It gives me a feeling of accomplishment knowing that I was able to help others.”
Cantrell restored an alarm system with faulty connections, keeping valuable assets secure and out of the wrong hands.
He also replaced an aging network firewall, implementing the new $300,000 system to help the entire wing combat the newest cyber threats.
“The firewall is the barrier between the trusted and untrusted network, it helps us prevent malicious attacks on our network,” he said. “It’s like Laughlin’s gate but for network; without the firewall we have no gate and are prone to cyber-attacks.”
Cantrell reconfigured 36 network switches that allow Laughlin’s maintainers to do what they do best after more than 700 computers faced authentication issues.
“The switches act as a distributor that provides internet,” Cantrell explained.
Cantrell said he’s honored to be recognized as the XLer of the week, and he’s sure his family back home is equally excited, but he can’t take all of the credit – he said the team he has by his side is crucial to his success.
“My team worked with me on a lot of these things,” he said. “It wouldn’t have been possible without all of us working together.”
Leadership recognized Cantrell with this week’s XLer for everything he’s done in keeping Laughlin’s network up, running and safe.