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NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. – For the first time, an all-military team of cyber Airmen from the 388th Operations Support Squadron deployed the F-35A Lightning II’s Autonomic Logistics Information System to support the 421st Fighter Squadron in Red Flag, Illinois. Air Force’s first high-force exercise.

While at Red Flag, F-35s of the 388th Fighter Wing provide offensive and defensive counter-air and suppression of enemy air defenses in combat scenarios, integrating with other fighters, bombers, command and control and tankers.

To do this, they need healthy ALIS. It is a network, hosting both classified and unclassified applications. If it is not accessible or not functioning properly, launching F-35 sorties is either difficult or impossible. Until recently, the administration of ALIS was done entirely by contractors, so it was a big test on a big stage.

“Everything went pretty well. We have provided the pilots and maintainers with the systems they need and we have not lost a sortie due to an ALIS issue,” said Master Sgt. Lemuel Brown, who oversees outboard mission systems.

To deploy ALIS, the Airmen set up two server stacks with dozens of servers each.

“The networking part was a crucial test. We never did the networking to connect to the larger Air Force domain from a deployed location,” Master Sgt. Casey Nunes, who oversees database administration.

These servers connect to various encrypted networks in a massive cyber-river with smaller streams, carrying critical information to and from each jet. This stored, transmitted, and encrypted information, and associated applications, allow pilots to plan the mission, maintainers to track parts and maintenance, and planners and engineers to check fleet health.

“The number one goal is to make sure the releases fly, and we support that every day by making sure our servers are healthy, every system is clear and working, and everyone can use the apps. ALIS and do its job,” Staff Sgt. David Caldwell, who oversees system and network administration.

Contractual support for ALIS was designed into the F-35 program. But, the Air Force was also expected to take over administration at some point – becoming more rapidly deployable and agile in the process.

“With everything going on in the world and the F-35 mission, continuing to build military ALIS support is essential for the Air Force to sustain a timely contingency,” Brown said. “Airmen can be mobilized much faster and go places a contractor cannot.”
Rolling out Red Flag is another step in proving they can do it successfully.

“I think there was a bit of hesitation because it’s never been done before and we can’t afford to lose rides at Red Flag. But, we did, and that’s first time in Air Force F-35 history,” said Master Sgt. Casey Nunes. “It’s exciting to see how far we’ve come with this program in a year and a half. the time, effort and training we put in at home.

The Red Flag is not only an opportunity for the 388th OSS to demonstrate and test their deployed ALIS capabilities, but also for young Cyber ​​Airmen to see their importance to the combat mission.

“They’re not just stuck in a dark vault all day. They are 100 yards from the maintainers and 150 yards from the jets,” Nunes said. “They can see everything from when pilots step in after mission planning, to when maintenance managers use ALIS work orders to fix specific issues with a jet. They see the cycle up close. complete F-35 squadron life.

EDITOR’S NOTE: ALIS is currently in use across the F-35 enterprise, but is being replaced by the Operational Data Integration Network (ODIN). OSS ALIS administrators will also administer the new system.

Date taken: 31.01.2022
Date posted: 31.01.2022 21:07
Story ID: 413750

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