Fort Carson RNEC best in 106th Signal Brigade

By John Switzer, Fort Carson Public Affairs OfficeJanuary 31, 2024

Fort Carson RNEC best in 106th Signal Brigade
FORT CARSON, Colo. — The Regional Network Enterprise Center team supports Local Network Enterprise Centers, Army Material Command and Surface Deployment and Distribution Command sites across the Western United States. (Photo Credit: Courtesy Regional Network Enterprise Center-West) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT CARSON, Colo. — What does it take to provide the best information technology services? To be the best at anything takes skill, dedication, resilience and critical thinking.

These attributes along with outstanding customer service recently led to Fort Carson’s Regional Network Enterprise Center-West (RNEC-W) being selected as the 106th Signal Brigade’s RNEC of the Year for 2023.

RNEC-W provides IT services for voice and data across the Army Department of Defense Information Network (DoDIN-A) to over 28,000 customers located at five separate installations from Colorado, California, Arizona, and Utah, including key tactical field training areas and eight separate tail sites such as nearby Pueblo Army Chemical Depot, Rocky Mountain Arsenal and the Military Ocean Terminal Concord, California.

Fort Carson RNEC best in 106th Signal Brigade
FORT CARSON, Colo. — Virginia Regester, Western Regional Network Enterprise Center director, proudly displays the 106th Signal Brigade Best RNEC award on her desk. (Photo Credit: Photo by John Switzer) VIEW ORIGINAL

Virginia Regester, the RNEC-W director at Fort Carson, believes this team to be unique in its ability to enable warfighters.

“We’re the largest RNEC in the 106th Signal Brigade’s area of responsibility. We’re at the front edge of innovation and creativity and look to find the best approach to delivering premier IT services to enable our warfighters.”

The RNEC mission is maintaining Soldier readiness through connectivity. The goal is to provide seamless transition during overseas deployments and re-deployments. This includes providing end user support and configurations to devices so warfighters can communicate on the DODIN-A as soon as boots hit the ground in theater.

The 106th Signal Brigade’s RNEC of the Year award credits the RNEC-W with developing coordination, configurations and establishing the tactics, techniques and procedures that are used as a standard across all areas of operations within the U.S. Army Network Enterprise Technology Command (NETCOM).

Dr. James Cronkhite, civilian executive officer, 106th Signal Brigade, 7th Singal Command, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, noted that several disciplines are reviewed including IT projection completion, resources and cybersecurity stewardship.

Fort Carson RNEC best in 106th Signal Brigade
FORT CARSON, Colo. — Oscar Nunez, left, and Ernest McCarthy, information technology technicians with the Regional Network Enterprise Center-West, measure data efficiencies on Fort Carson, Jan. 3, 2023. (Photo Credit: Photo by John Switzer) VIEW ORIGINAL

“Fort Carson continues to excel at not just the ‘nuts and bolts’ of IT service delivery and management,” he said. “They led the brigade in fiscal 2023 in areas such as aggregate cybersecurity posture, IT trouble ticket resolution and mean time to repair, and mission support to Army force readiness.

Finally, the RNEC is the ‘go-to’ organization for subject matter expertise across multiple IT disciplines and serves as lead organization for the brigade’s pivot strategy.”

The Army’s IT application and workflow processes are constantly evolving. Eventually virtual private network (VPN) will become obsolete and virtual desktops will be the answer.

Soldiers can now enroll in the Hypori Halo app through the non-classified Internet Protocol Router Network (NIPRnet) or a personal computer or Mac with their Common Access Card (CAC).

Personal mobile devices are approved for access through Army365 with 100% separation of government and personal data.

Frank Davis, RNEC deputy director, said that government has gone to the cloud with Army365.

“It’s called zero trust. The technology down the road is going to be where there’s no VPN needed. We’ll be able to apply security patches and updates from anywhere using the cloud architecture,” he said.

While some senior leaders on the installation may remember when Fort Carson was a Directorate of Information Management (DOIM) or local Network Enterprise Center and the quality of service it provided.

The RNEC-W remains dependable, customer focused and even more proactive in meeting customer needs using new collaboration technologies.

One example is the Fort Carson IT community channel on Microsoft Teams. The IT community channel is closely monitored by RNEC technicians and is where the community can ask questions to solve IT problems quickly without the need to submit a service ticket.

Several industries across the nation are having a tough time with service disruption due to staffing shortages.

Cronkhite explained that if he could develop the ideal IT technician, it would possess two superpowers that would expedite customer support demand.

“The IT superpowers would be creativity and critical thinking”, he said. “For most IT disciplines, an employee or Soldier can be sent to training courses or bootcamps focused on technical IT skills and certification paths. However, creativity and critical thinking are not normally the focus within the technical training sphere. Given the rise of cloud computing and opportunities for AI integration, the ability to view challenges and develop solution sets rests on non-technical skills.”

The Fort Carson RNEC-W is focused on providing quality services and unmatched customer support for the Western Region of the United States.

It is the 106th Signal Brigade’s premier Regional Information Technology Service and Support Center with the 7th Signal Command (Theater).