Wired infrastructure for 104 installations complete

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. -- The Base Information Transport Infrastructure program, which provides wired and wireless network capabilities to active-duty, reserve and Air National Guard bases worldwide, achieved full deployment status for 104 wired networks Sept. 29.

Full deployment is the last milestone, declaring the product is completed. Full deployment for this program is similar to weapons systems reaching full operational capability.

“Completing BITI represents a substantial and sustained body of work,” said Maj. Gen. Dwyer Dennis, Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence and Networks program executive officer here. “It was definitely a total team effort by both the field units and the program office team. Everyone's support is greatly appreciated.”

According to program officials, the milestone marks the completion of wired network infrastructure installations for 77 stand-alone Air National Guard locations and 27 Active Duty, Air Force Reserve, and co-located units. The total procurement value of this effort was approximately $1.4 billion.

The upgrade includes a distribution system element, such as fiber optics, a manhole and duct system; an inside plant element consisting of power, ground, cooling and physical security; and a network element, which includes switches for distribution and user access.

"The BITI team takes pride in achieving full deployment,” said Andy Manvell, BITI program manager. "As the program transitions to sustainment, we have many challenges ahead.  We will perform our ongoing recapitalization mission to ensure our network’s reliability and availability."

Recapitalization will replace hardware, such as core and critical distribution nodes, every five years. The five-year update is in alignment with industry standards for commercial-off-the-shelf refresh cycles on BITI-related network components.

According to Lt. Col. Bradley Panton, the BITI materiel leader, the refresh cycle will drive out obsolete equipment, which could otherwise introduce vulnerabilities to the network. Panton also noted that the BITI Program’s network management system effort will standardize network operations across the Air Force, saving the Air Force millions in the future and enabling seamless mobilization of network operators.

"This has been an outstanding effort. I appreciate all the teamwork and diligence to get this done before the objective date, which was six months prior to the required date of March 2018,” said Col. Robert King, C3I and Networks Infrastructure Division senior materiel leader.   “This is a huge success. The contributions made by the BITI team are vital to the Air Force network and impact every Airman across the globe."

BITI began in the 1990s under the name of Combat Information Transportation System program. Initially established for connectivity of all core facilities deemed mission essential, it expanded to provide base-wide, wired and wireless connectivity to base network users as well as a GuestNet capability and a standardized network management system.

Benjamin Newell contributed to this report.