Laughlin upgrades digital infrastructure

  • Published
  • By SSgt Nicholas Larsen
  • 47th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs
Airmen from the 47th Communication Squadron finished a 4 year project of upgrading the digital infrastructure of Laughlin on Feb. 6, 2024.

To acknowledge this accomplishment Col. Robert Moore, 47th Mission Support Group commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Anthony Burelson, 47th MSG command chief, visited Airmen at the communication squadron to see the project completion and the processes behind it.

“It's crucial for leadership to witness these efforts firsthand as it provides valuable insight into the intricate workings behind the scenes,” said Master Sgt. David Herrera, 47th CS network control center section chief, “This exposure grants leadership a deeper understanding of the procedures Airmen go through daily to protect and secure Laughlin’s network and the processes involved during emergency outages.”

The project included a recently installed Uninterruptible Power Supply, new switches, and other updates to digital security. The UPS offers a safety net for the network in case power is interrupted, preventing data from being lost.

“This system protects against severe weather events, power surges, and outages, ensuring uninterrupted operation, even during challenging conditions,” said Herrera. “It gives us a buffer and allows us to ride out small surges or safely shut down in the case of a larger event.”

After seeing those improvements, the tour moved on to the setup of a new switch, including how to set port configurations, specialty ports and trunking protocols.

“Updating the digital infrastructure is essential because times are changing,” said Senior Airman Jerremy Huck, 47th CS technician. “If we want to be the best, we must have updated infrastructure.”

Showing leadership the end product of this project, Airmen from the 47th CS replaced an outdated switch with a modern one. Throughout the process SrA Huck explained the reasons why and how they change the switches.

“It is essential to replace the network switches because they are at the end of their service life,” said Huck. “When a switch is end of life, the manufacturer will not release any more security patches on that model, leaving it vulnerable to attack.”

Preventing these attacks is a major part of cybersecurity, which is important to keep Laughlin’s flying mission operating.

“This is how we ‘flip the script’,” said Col. Robert Moore, 47th Mission Support Group commander, referring to the MSG’s mission to improve current systems and processes. “We replace the antiquated, outdated mess and improve the equipment we have.”