Putting Otis on the Map
By Master Sgt. Aaron Smith, 102nd Intelligence Wing
/ Published March 24, 2014
OTIS AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Mass. -- Braving frigid temperatures, members of the 253rd Cyber Engineering Installation Group (CEIG) chiseled away ice, pried off freezing manhole covers, and took precise GPS measurements, all in an effort to modernize the communications infrastructure plans of Otis.
The 253rd CEIG airmen were taking part in a GeoBase course that is normally taught at the Lightning Force Academy in Fort Indiantown Gap, Penn. For this course, the 253rd CEIG sought to get the knowledge, but to keep costs down as well. 2nd Lt. Scott Humber explains, "Instead of sending unit members to Pennsylvania, we had the two instructors come up here. With the amount of people involved, it helped us reduce our overall travel costs." In addition the reduced costs the unit was able to provide a real-world benefit by using the training to map locations on Otis.
The Air National Guard GeoBase Program updates an antiquated way of mapping the communications infrastructure of a base. Lt. Humber notes, "In the future, when we need to dig in an area or make upgrades, instead of going through piles of paper maps of the base, we can just easily navigate them online." Describing the previous system, Lt. Humber said, "They had a library of base maps maintained at Tinker [Air Force Base, Oklahoma], and they had a crew of draftsman who would go and update changes for each base, now things can be entered into CVC."
The Cyberspace Infrastructure Planning System, Visual Component or CVC is a computer program that utilizes the measurements and data collected to replace those old paper maps. For the final part of the GeoBase course, 253rd CEIG airmen entered their measurements and brought them together with information from the 212th Engineering Installations Squadron and 102nd Civil Engineering Squadron to form a more complete picture of the base's communications infrastructure.
The options available by having the information in this form are apparent. Lt. Humber states, "This provides the opportunity for remote engineering. Instead of the 212th Engineers going out to the 104th Fighter Wing, if there was a geo-survey done there, the 212th engineers can produce a virtual engineering product from here."
In the future, as new airmen need to be certified the 253rd CEIG will likely send them to the traditional Lightning Force Academy class. The current course 253rd CEIG airmen not only finished with their geo-base certification, but also a product that will help the base in the future.