Airmen who pull alert in launch control centers deep underground in remote locations around the country are virtually cut off from the outside world...
Capt. Mark Bigley, 741st Missile Squadron combat crew commander, explains how Juliet-01’s new computer with Internet access works within the launch control center May 30. The system, Netlink, allowing Internet access will undergo an initial trial phase of 60 days to collect data on the success of the new system. If the results deem positive then a blanket approval will be sought to install the same system at all 15 missile alert facilities within the 91st Space Wing. U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Cassandra Butler)
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MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- Airmen who pull alert in launch control centers deep underground in remote locations around the country are virtually cut off from the outside world.
Ensuring America's intercontinental ballistic missile force is ready at a moment's notice may be considered a lonely, isolated job with an average day consisting of scouring over technical data and monitoring the missile complex, until now.
Juliet-01, a missile alert facility here, has new computer capability allowing missile combat crewmembers to access the Internet while pulling an alert shift in the LCC.
This new system, Netlink, provides Airmen with the capability to increase their productivity while on alert. With this new system, crews can work on professional military education, graduate degree programs and professional communication such as staff packages, performance reports, awards and decorations.
This system is the first of its kind dedicated to combat crews in an ICBM LCC. In addition to boosting personal productivity, LCC Netlink provides high-speed access to remote monitoring equipment, providing crews with better situational awareness in their underground control centers.
The LCC Netlink concept was envisioned by Master Sgt. Doug Angell, 741st Missile Squadron.
"After seeing crewmembers spend their days off trying to catch-up on ancillary training, additional duties or simply reading and responding to e-mail, I saw the need for PC access while on alert," said Sergeant Angell.
One of the obvious concerns and obstacles in gaining this technology in the LCC was ensuring this capability would not pose a threat to the safe and secure operation of nuclear weapons.
By isolating the units, Sergeant Angell was able to completely mitigate all related risks.
Netlink is scheduled to undergo a 60-day survey, and the results will be analyzed to see how productivity has improved.
"Some people who have been in the ICBM business for a while might say, 'we didn't have that so why should you?' Or, 'shouldn't you be doing your job, not browsing the Internet?' When presented with the idea that office productivity will actually improve, some misconceptions can be changed," said Capt. Joseph Page II, 741st MS combat crew commander.
Netlink will undergo an initial trial phase of 60 days to collect data on the success of the new system. If the results deem positive then a blanket approval will be sought to install the same system at all 15 MAF's within the 91st Space Wing.
"The LCC Netlink is a revolutionary leap forward in increasing the proficiency, productivity and efficiency of on-alert missile crews as they deter would be adversaries and safeguard our precious freedom," said Lt. Col Tom Summers, 741st Missile Squadron commander. "We've only begun to scratch the surface on how to exploit LCC Netlink's new mission-enhancing capabilities. The positive mission impact and future uses of computer network access in the missile capsules will surely pay huge dividends for years to come."