700 ASUS brings back-up cloud to AOCs

  • Published
  • By A1C Chloe Shanes
  • Air Combat Command Public Affairs

The 700th Air Support Squadron is standing up an Air Force-owned and managed data back-up cloud service to support all of the service’s Air Operations Centers (AOC) worldwide.

Having a self-sustaining, Air Force-owned data back-up cloud is essential to the future fight, especially as cyber becomes increasingly important to air power.

Since 2010, the 700th Air Support Squadron has been working to bring this service to AOCs, whose primary mission is to command and control the joint air effort.

The mission of the 700th is to support the Air Force Forces Commander’s and the Combined Forces Air Component Commander’s ability to command and control air and space forces by providing command and control data backup, continuity of operations support, operational support, and the Tier 1 Help Desk. 

“As the AOC enterprise continues to fight on legacy systems as it transitions to the next generation of capability,” said U.S. Air Force Major Aaron McBride, Air Combat Command, 700th Air Support Squadron. “The data each AOC produces must be backed up to increase resiliency while maintaining options for commanders to have continuity of operations in all of its many scenarios. The 700 ASUS data cloud design allows for rapid distribution of capability to forces at alternate locations.”

This data back-up cloud gives Airmen the ability to have access to their work quicker and virtually anywhere because the cloud is constantly backing up their progress. 

Since this system is internally managed within the AF, the data back-up cloud is not only more resilient to cyber-attacks, it is also more cost effective.

“Doing this internally versus using a classified commercial cloud service provider saves the Air Force approximately $5 million per year,” said McBride.

The amount of data produced by the next generation of sensors will provide an unprecedented amount of information to the warfighter. However, an adversary would likely try to prevent or delay access to critical data to gain an advantage. A cloud based data backup solution provides warfighters and commanders with relevant and timely data from anywhere in the world and protects access to the data by making it accessible among multiple nodes.

“Training our Airmen how to operate cloud environments and manage massive pools of data is incredibly important to the future of AOC and Air Force operations,” said U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Shaun Humphrey, 700th Air Support Squadron Commander. “Our mission isn’t to just back up AOC data, it is to ensure that data is ready and accessible at any time and from anywhere.” 

The 700 ASUS plans to make this back-up cloud capability more accessible to additional AOCs by establishing additional nodes around the globe to extend its reach. This is one of many ways ACC continues to modernize the way the command executes its mission every day.