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Posted 11/16/2011 Printable Fact Sheet
26th Network Operations Squadron
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The 26th Network Operations Squadron (26th NOS), located at Maxwell AFB-Gunter Annex, Ala., was activated Aug. 18, 2009. The squadron is directly aligned under the 26th Network Operations Group. The 26th NOS delivers 24/7 cyberspace availability to the warfighter, hence the motto "Always On, Always Ready." The unit is a critical node of Air Force cyber defense.


The 26th NOS began as the 1987th Communications Squadron on June 1, 1966, at Nakhon Phanom, Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, before moving to Lowry Air Force Base, Colo., on Oct. 31, 1975. It was redesignated as the 3415th Communications Squadron on April 1, 1991. That unit was deactivated on June 28, 1994. On Aug. 11, 2009, the 3415th Communication Squadron was redesignated as the 26th Network Operations Squadron. The squadron was activated on Aug. 18, 2009. This unit, as one of the newest squadrons in today's Air Force, supports a critical role in cyber operations and supports the Air Force Mission to "Fly, Fight and Win in Air, Space, and Cyberspace".


The 26th NOS operates the Air Force portion of the Global Information Grid and provides computer network defense for the Air Force enterprise network. In addition to operating and defending the Air Force Enterprise Network Increment 1 (AFNET INC 1) Gateways, 26 NOS provides command and control and computer defense for more than 250 locations, with more than 1,100 wide area network circuits supporting warfighting efforts while executing 24/7 sustainment of all Air Force active duty, Air Force Reserve, and Air National Guard Non-Secure Internet Protocol Router/ Secure Internet Protocol Router services.


With a team of more than 160 military, civilian, and contractor members, the 26th NOS is skilled in the areas of network operations, network security, and network support. The members provide cyber capabilities to the warfighters through operation, management, and defense of Air Force Gateways ; directing day-to-day protection of Air Force global information grid networks; controlling and defending Air Force enterprise gateway boundaries; delivering cyber battlespace situational awareness; developing and executing countermeasures in response to hostile cyber attacks; analyzing AF GIG performance; issuing temporary network addresses and domains; and scheduling Air Force network maintenance.


To provide mission assurance to active duty, Reserve, and Guard forces 24/7 through unfettered, unhampered, and unimpeded access to the Air Force unclassified and classified networks; and to enable mission assurance by diligently operating the Air Force enterprise gateway boundaries, providing the secure connectivity for predator missions, global satellite feeds, and battle planning for war operations and cyber defense, and providing situational awareness of critical Air Force networks and systems that allows precision bombing, strategic attack, and interdiction.


The Authorized Service Interruptions Team serves as the focal point for ASI coordination between Air Force and outside agencies. The team provides daily situational awareness to leadership and Air Force organizations during the daily senior duty officer briefing. They schedule maintenance actions for AFNET INC 1 to include all actions affecting the 16 Air Force gateways and maintenance for all network service delivery points for the Air Force. The team acts as the focal point for outside agencies to include the Defense Information Systems Agency. The team monitors ASIs for more than 600 circuits and provides situational awareness for more than 200 mission assurance efforts.

The Boundary Protection Team provides boundary protection at the enterprise level. This team manages firewalls, Web proxies, proxy AV and load balancers at the AFNET INC 1 gateways. They also manage the boundary equipment for non-Air Force base global command and control system sites. Overall, the boundary protection team analyzes traffic, monitors for anomalies, identifies possible malicious activity, and provides situational awareness.

The Crew Operations Section includes 26th NOS crew commanders, operations controllers, and the Authorized Service Interruptions Team. The crew section is the focal point for 26th NOS operations. They are responsible for the management and direction of daily operations affecting over 600 circuits, 16 gateways, two IMS networks, and three local networks. Through the responsibility charged to the crew commander, they provide situational awareness to senior leadership on circuit outages, bandwidth utilization, ASIs, and the status of AFNET Inc 1 resources. They closely work with and coordinate activities with the 624th Operations Center, 33rd Network Warfare Squadron, 83rd Network Operations Squadron, 561st Network Operations Squadron, Air National Guard Network Operations and Security Center, and Defense Information Systems Agency.

The Domain Name System Team manages Air Force-level DNS naming convention for the Air Force, maintains a name server record for all Air Force name servers in the af.mil zone and provides technical support for the Air Force domains and sub-domains. They handle the tactical Internet provider addressing assignments. The team provides ranges of Internet Protocol to warfighters to assist them in real-world emergencies, deployments and exercises.

The Enterprise Network Applications Team coordinates circuit upgrade requests with Air Force Network Integration Center Long Haul. ENAT provides network situational awareness by monitoring bandwidth utilization and network trends, providing commercial off-the-shelf software and locally developed tools and providing robust analysis reports for internal and external customers.

The Information Assurance Team constantly ensures the security posture of the Air Force networks to enable confidentiality, integrity, availability, non-repudiation, authentication in accordance with the 26th NOS mission. The IA team is also responsible for the certification and accreditation of the networks and circuits. In addition, the IA team is accountable for the execution and tracking of AFNetOps orders published by the 624th Operations Center.

The Project and Integration Group helps design, test, and implement new infrastructure for the Air Force Network. This group provides tier-3 engineering support for the 26th NOS. The members of this group perform evaluations of new solutions and provide recommendations to appropriate personnel. Part of the 26th NOS gateway recovery team, this group must be ready to deploy at a moment's notice to any Air Force gateway to restore from any type of outage.

The Router Team monitors and maintains the service delivery points and service delivery systems on all Air Force active duty, Reserve and Guard bases as well as the 16 Air Force gateways on the Air Force networks. This team helps troubleshoot and resolve issues which deal with the sites connecting out through the AFNET Wide Area Network on a daily basis. They work jointly with the Integrated Network Operations and Security Centers. Additionally, the router team maintains a close working relationship with DISA for circuit issues and upgrades.

The Standards/Evaluation Team ensures operational training and operators meet Air Force and unit standards. Through scheduled and no-notice evaluations, standardization and evaluation identifies deficiencies in training, processes, and procedures. It works closely with operations training and crew operations to solve problems and streamline processes.

The System Administration Team manages approximately 650 systems across three networks in support of Air Force network operations. Utilizing enterprise network administration and monitoring tools, the team provides 24/7 support minimizing downtime on the Air Force network and ensures all assets are operationally functional, secure and remain up to date. The system administration team is also responsible for developing custom software applications.

(Current as of October 2011)

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