By Mr. William B King (2nd Signal Brigade)August 28, 2017
WIESBADEN, Germany -- Soldiers assigned to the 228th Theater Tactical Signal Brigade, South Carolina National Guard, have been in Germany since mid-July to assist the 2nd Theater Signal Brigade with reimaging computer systems in Europe to Windows 10.
Windows 10 is the new Microsoft operating system that improves customer experience while increasing the protection against computer vulnerabilities. Windows 10 has enhanced cybersecurity features to protect information on Army and Department of Defense networks.
In Grafenwoehr, the SCNG Soldiers are working with the Network Enterprise Center Bavaria, or NEC Bavaria, part of the 102nd Strategic Signal Battalion, at a facility that can reimage up to 200 computers at a time. Robert Martinez Jr., an IT specialist at NEC Bavaria, said the Soldiers hit the ground running, quickly learning the processes and procedures for reimaging machines on the European network to Windows 10.
"Having the Soldiers here we've been able to update about 300 systems so far and been able to help out a lot of customers," Martinez said.
James McCall, a senior IT specialist at NEC Bavaria, said to date about 65 percent of the approximately 11,000 computers in the NEC Bavaria footprint have been updated to Windows 10. To prepare for Windows 10, he suggests users first review how to back up their data, then request the update from through their IT support channels.
"Users should call up their S-6 [Communications and Information Management section] and make an appointment. Be proactive in in scheduling," McCall recommended.
Martinez said once a unit turns in machines to the reimage facility, his team can update them to Windows 10 and reissue the machines back to the units in usually 24-36 hours.
"The biggest things that units can do is try to get their users to either back up their data to a disk or a migration shared drive to allow those (information management offices) or those S-6 shops to bring in their systems a lot quicker," Martinez said.
Lt. Col. Ernest Tornabell IV, commander of the 102nd Strategic Signal Bn., said getting users onto a single, more secure operating system will speed up the customer service and troubleshooting support process.
"It's vital for our community to upgrade to Windows 10 in order for our network enterprise centers to provide that speed of service that they require," Tornabell said.
For more information about the transition to Windows 10 visit the 2nd Theater Signal Bde. website at www.2sigbde.army.mil/windows10.html, the Army Enterprise Service Desk -- Europe and Africa website at www.119.army.mil (CAC required), or speak with your unit IT representative.
2nd Theater Signal Brigade conducts Department of Defense Information Network operations to enable mission command in support of U.S. Army, Joint and multinational operations throughout the U.S. European Command and U.S. Africa Command areas of operation.