Wireless Internet is now available in most of Fort Drum's barracks, thanks to a collaborative effort between Fort Drum Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation; Army Recreation Machine Program; and Army and Air Force Exchange Service.

"It really impacts primarily on our single Soldiers. My focus is to make life for single Soldiers as good as it can be, and they have all of the state-of-the-art technology," said Harold E. Greer, director of FMWR.

Greer said this system is less expensive than other comparable services and it travels with Soldiers. The wireless "Alternate Escape" service is available on several Army and Air Force bases worldwide.

"You can go to an airport and get wireless Internet there; that is what our Soldiers are, on the cutting edge of technology," he added.

The only spot on base that is not completely up and running yet are the barracks on Wheeler-Sack Army Airfield. Because of signal restrictions, barracks at the airfield will take a little longer to set up.
Greer said the installation FMWR fund is paying $43,000 to get cable out to the airfield. The projected date to have the system operational on the airfield is Feb. 15.

Kim Irey, installation coordinator for this project, said the best part about the service is the fact that there are no contracts. All profits go back to the FMWR fund to support Soldiers.

There are several options for use of the service. Prices are $3.50 per hour, $9.50 per day, $24.50 per seven days and $39 for a month. These plans are good at any Wireless Escape or Alternate Escape location.
Once the airfield barracks are set up, the next project is wireless hot spots in other locations on post. These locations are AAFES, Commons, Bowling Center and Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers building.

"The push is on the airfield, but now that it's rolling along, by May we'll have the hot spots up I think," said Nate Jones, an information technology representative for ARMP.

Once everything is stable, an eventual goal is to have wireless access in the housing communities.
"In some other posts like Fort Bragg (N.C.) and Fort Benning (Ga.), they are experimenting with on-post housing areas," Jones said.

Page last updated Tue January 12th, 2010 at 15:28