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Having what IT takes

Engineers from the 38th Cyberspace Engineering Installation Group and 18th Communications Squadron work on router March 28, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The 38th CEIG visited the base to help optimize and update systems on Kadena. (Courtesy photo)

Engineers from the 38th Cyberspace Engineering Installation Group and 18th Communications Squadron work on router March 28, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The 38th CEIG visited the base to help optimize and update systems on Kadena. (Courtesy photo)

An engineer with the 38th Cyberspace Engineering Installation Group checks wires on a router March 28, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The 38th CEIG worked with the 18th Communications Squadron to identify and correct outdated systems around the installation. (Courtesy photo)

An engineer with the 38th Cyberspace Engineering Installation Group checks wires on a router March 28, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The 38th CEIG worked with the 18th Communications Squadron to identify and correct outdated systems around the installation. (Courtesy photo)

An engineer with the 38th Cyberspace Engineering Installation Group pulls wires on a core node March 28, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Members of the 38th CEIG visited Kadena and worked with the Airmen of the 18th Communications Squadron to identify outdated systems and assist in updating them. (Courtesy photo)

An engineer with the 38th Cyberspace Engineering Installation Group pulls wires on a core node March 28, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Members of the 38th CEIG visited Kadena and worked with the Airmen of the 18th Communications Squadron to identify outdated systems and assist in updating them. (Courtesy photo)

An engineer from the 38th Cyberspace Engineering Installation Group and 18th Communications Squadron identify wire locations March 28, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The 38th CEIG assisted the 18th CS in reducing the number of routers by 25 percent. This reduction is estimated to save the Air Force more than $750,000 in maintenance costs annually. (Courtesy photo)

An engineer from the 38th Cyberspace Engineering Installation Group and 18th Communications Squadron identify wire locations March 28, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The 38th CEIG assisted the 18th CS in reducing the number of routers by 25 percent. This reduction is estimated to save the Air Force more than $750,000 in maintenance costs annually. (Courtesy photo)

Members of the 38th Cyberspace Engineering Installation Group work together to identify wire locations on a core node March 28, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Reducing the number of routers was the primary focus of the 38th CEIG during their month-long temporary assignment to Kadena. The reduction is estimated to save the 18th Communications Squadron more than 100 man hours of maintenance each year. (Courtesy photo)

Members of the 38th Cyberspace Engineering Installation Group work together to identify wire locations on a core node March 28, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Reducing the number of routers was the primary focus of the 38th CEIG during their month-long temporary assignment to Kadena. The reduction is estimated to save the 18th Communications Squadron more than 100 man hours of maintenance each year. (Courtesy photo)

Members of the 38th Cyberspace Engineering Installation Group work on a core node March 28, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The 38th CEIG spent more than a month helping the 18th Communications Squadron reduce the overall number of routers on Kadena. This reduction will not only save the Air Force more than $750,000 in maintenance costs each year, it will save 18th CS Airmen more than 100 man hours annually. (Courtesy photo)

Members of the 38th Cyberspace Engineering Installation Group work on a core node March 28, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The 38th CEIG spent more than a month helping the 18th Communications Squadron reduce the overall number of routers on Kadena. This reduction will not only save the Air Force more than $750,000 in maintenance costs each year, it will save 18th CS Airmen more than 100 man hours annually. (Courtesy photo)

KADENA AIR BASE, Japan --

Members of the 38th Cyberspace Engineering Installation Group from Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, worked with the 18th Communications Squadron at Kadena to “tune up” several  systems and processes across the base.

The 38th CEIG reduced the overall number of routers on Kadena by 25 percent, cutting the number of man hours required to maintain them as well as making it more efficient for the 18th CS to update security measures for the network.

“Our job was to standardize, simplify, optimize and improve security of the system,” said Jeff Iverson, 38th CEIG systems engineer. “It’s the first time an update like this has been done here since everything was installed. We worked the whole process through a three-phase plan.”

The first stage was for the eight-member team to identify the issues Kadena was having with its network systems.

“During the ‘discovery’ phase, we asked around the communications squadron to try and identify areas they knew needed work,” said Iverson. “We took their suggestions into account when we started building our plans.”

Each of the routers scattered across Kadena connect more than a dozen buildings, and potentially hundreds of computers, printers and telephones, to the network.

“Some of the [routers] are in places that aren’t exactly great,” said Iverson. “One was in a restricted area and required an escort every time it needed to be maintained and a few were older buildings. They weren’t being used to their full potential, so we decided to consolidate them.”

Phase two of the plan was to reduce the overall number of routers.

“Fewer routers means the communications Airmen have more time to do other things, like resolving tickets or maintaining the remaining routers,” said Iverson. “All of the buildings assigned to the underused routers were consolidated across several others. It won’t affect day-to-day terminal speed, but it will help make everything more secure and easy to maintain.”

The final part of the 38th CEIG’s job was to execute their plans. They worked with the 18th CS to consolidate the buildings assigned to underutilized terminals into active ones.

All of the downtime associated with the changes occurred after normal hours or over the weekend.

“Our goal was to have the base feel as little disruption as possible during the change,” said Phuong Nguyen, 38th CEIG systems engineer. “Our team worked 12-to-14 hours a day for around a month to minimize the impact on the base while we made the jobs for the communications Airmen easier.”