By Kim GillespieMarch 14, 2017
Jeff Tucker joined the Office of the Program Manager, Saudi Arabian National Guard as its G6 at the end of October, leaving the Washington, D.C., area, where he worked at the Office of the Secretary of Defense/Joint Service Provider, supporting the DOD Consolidation Adjudication Facility, located at Fort Meade, Maryland. In his new position, he oversees the information technology operations of a relatively small organization, but one that plays a critical role in the Army's security assistance program.
"Others need to understand what we do," Tucker said. And what OPM-SANG does is "engage with Saudi nationals for their FMS (foreign military sales)" to modernize the Saudi Arabian National Guard.
Tucker, a Navy veteran experienced with joint operations, was offered the G6 position at OPM-SANG, but he was also offered a position in Europe. However, his decision to come to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was based on one factor -- the challenge.
OPM-SANG personnel are assured of top-notch living conditions, and that also extends to their professional workspace.
"We are looking at implementing new innovations in IT," Tucker said. Communications are essential to the organization since personnel may be spread at various locations across Saudi Arabia in their role of advising and assisting SANG.
Security is the first priority for any system, Tucker noted. His long-term goal includes replacing the traditional telephone and conferencing systems by integrating the various technologies, but eliminating the need for a hard-drive and laptops by creating a "virtual desktop."
Virtual desktop infrastructure will eliminate the need for desktops/laptops and while strictly using a thin-client desktop. This infrastructure is being developed as the strategic plan for the future of OPM-SANG at Eskan Village, for cost savings in PCs, savings on resources and provide better security for the unclassified network.
"We need to do what we can to support our customer," Tucker said. And by supporting the FMS customer, OPM-SANG is increasing the capabilities of a strategic partner of U.S. Central Command and thus increasing CENTCOM's readiness, he added.
Smaller objectives for his office include upgrading the command group's conference room, transitioning all records to a paperless system and improving the phone/television/Internet service for all OPM-SANG personnel's housing, or villas, as they are called there.
Tucker is also working on filling positions on his staff and is rewriting position descriptions to better reflect the responsibilities and pay grades needed.
He admits the monetary rewards of working at OPM-SANG are good, but "it's not just monetary, it about the job … having an opportunity to do the job better."
For Tucker, the bottom line is "ensuring we can communicate." And to do that, he hopes he can inspire others to consider applying for a position at OPM-SANG in order to accomplish his goals.
"We need to work together as a team," he said.