Joint air forces team beefs up NATO network

Personnel from six air forces in Europe have converged on Cervia Air Base, Italy, to
support the communications needs of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s
Operation Allied Force.


The services are providing NATO troops and commanders with classified as well as
unclassified Internet access and e-mail over a LAN. Although it could use more capacity,
the LAN has been operating virtually without errors, said Maj. Tim Williams, commander of
the 48th Expeditionary Communications Flight.


Most of the communications traffic travels through a 20-foot satellite dish, including
e-mail and Internet traffic, Tech Sgt. Rob Haggerty said.


As in Operation Desert Storm early in this decade, U.S. forces are making information
technology a vital part of the military deployment. They are trying to put into practice
what they learned during recent communications exercises and dress rehearsals.


Williams and his colleagues, who refer to the NATO troops as customers, served in an
October deployment to Cervia, which has made their current operation easier, said Tech
Sgt. Jim Nadal, chief of the section.


The air bombing in the former Republic of Yugoslavia entered its third week last week
amid speculation that stateside ground troops are making preparations for a Kosovo
campaign.    


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