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New cable infrastructure improves security

The 205th Engineering Installation Squadron will install new fiber-optic and copper communications cables at select locations around Will Rogers Air National Guard Base, Okla. The new cables, which are part of the wing’s transition to a special operations mission, will provide better security for the increased amount of information transmitted across the base. The fiber-optic cables are more secure since they do not emit an electro-magnetic field that can be intercepted and reconstructed into intelligible data. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Tyler Woodward)

The 205th Engineering Installation Squadron will install new fiber-optic and copper communications cables at select locations around Will Rogers Air National Guard Base, Okla. The new cables, which are part of the wing’s transition to a special operations mission, will provide better security for the increased amount of information transmitted across the base. The fiber-optic cables are more secure since they do not emit an electro-magnetic field that can be intercepted and reconstructed into intelligible data. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Tyler Woodward)

WILL ROGERS AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Okla. -- New fiber-optic and copper communication cables are being installed at select locations around Will Rogers Air National Guard Base. This new infrastructure is necessary as part of the 137th Air Refueling Wing's transition to a Special Operations Wing.

Provided by the 137th Communications Flight, the new system will provide better security for the increased flow of information associated with the new special operations mission.

The new cables will support information flow for WRANGB's new Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility and combat systems operators' simulator. The SCIF is an enclosed area used to process classified information.

"Fiber-optic cables are a pathway to carry transmitted light (information)," said Master Sgt. Ed Simpson, 137 CF program manager. "This information being passed along by fiber optic communication lines makes it more secure from outside intrusion."

In addition to providing upgraded security, the new infrastructure is being added because there is currently not enough cable on base to support the new mission.

The cables will be constructed and organized to Telecommunication Electronic Material Protection from Emanating Spurious Transmissions standards, or TEMPEST standards, to ensure they provide the operational security they are intended to deliver.

These standards were created to prevent the interception and reconstruction of the electro-magnetic field emitted by electrical cables into intelligible data.

"Classified and unclassified cables need to have separation in order to lower the effect of emissions on surrounding cables," said Master Sgt. Bryan Whittle, 205th Engineering Installation Squadron cyber support integrator. "The fiber-optic cables will be OK because they don't generate emissions, so there's no electro-magnetic field emitted from them."

The installation of the new fiber-optic and copper infrastructure is a precursor for the increased flow of classified information that results from WRANGB's change to a special operations base.

With all of the information security challenges set to face WRANGB airman, Chief Master Sgt. Kenneth Rogers, 137 CF chief, plans and resources, emphasized that security is everyone's responsibility.

"As we increase and upgrade the Wing's infrastructure to meet the new mission requirements, it is important for us all to keep in mind that these changes alone will not prevent data breeches," said Rogers. "It is every member's responsibility to practice good OPSEC, thereby ensuring data integrity from beginning to end."