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Updated Information March 27:
With thousands of Airmen now in a telework environment, please login/logout of shared resources when not needed and consider what remote work can be accomplished off-line or during non-traditional hours. Current VPN capacity is fully utilized during CONUS daylight hours. As expanded remote capabilities are available, they will be formally announced.
All employees should complete telework training (opens in new window).
1) OWA Access and Availability
- Multi-pin prompts: Users experiencing multiple pin prompts are encouraged to download Active Client 7.2 to their home computers. Software and instructions are available via the AF Portal at AF Middleware to Use CACs from Home-Updated 20 Mar 2020 (opens in new window). This link can also be found as one of the main headlines on the Air Force Portal Homepage.
- A dedicated Problem Resolution Team is addressing the inability to use the AF’s full OWA capacity. Resolution will be announced in future updates.
- This is the authorized address to access OWA (opens in new window). Changes to the approved link are being evaluated and may be announced at a later date.
2) USAF VPN (EURAM) -
- Some users reported experiencing a “dll” file error. A fix for this error was deployed across the AFNet on 21 March. As of 26 Mar, machines connected to the AFNet that are assessed as missing the files will be automatically remediated and receive a pop up message.
- Users still experiencing the “dll” error should first go to Software Center to see if “SDC NIPR – USAF VPN Client” is visible and click repair/install (Does not require AFNET Access).
3) How do I know what’s being done to fix things?
- All users using an AF-imaged computer can check for regular updates on vESD. On your desktop, click on the vESD AF IT Service Desk Icon (the blue button that says HELP DESK). After it loads, click on “View More” under Announcements.
4) On 25 Mar 20, The Air Force Deputy Chief Information Officer released an AF Telework Capabilities Guide. Please see the hyperlink in Users Resources section below for a roll-up chart of approved and commonly used capabilities across the DoD and AF.
5) Security Notes
- All standard security practices (patching) remain in effect, and government devices do receive patches through VPN connections.
- Additionally, the DoD Anti-virus Home Use Program is back, providing a one-year subscription for DoD employees. See more details (opens in new window).
OWA Active Client Download / CAC Software for home use: AF Middleware to Use CACs from Home-Updated 20 Mar 2020 (opens in new window)
OWA Common Issues/Fix (opens in new window)
EURAM User Guide (PDF)
S/MIME Instructions (PDF)
Blackberry UEM Instructions and How to Guides (opens in new window)
USAF VPN Client Installation Instructions for Administrators (PDF)
USAF DCIO – AF Telework Capabilities Guide (PDF)
DoD Antivirus Home Use Program (opens in new window)
Information on Air Force VPN:
- There are multiple efforts ongoing at the Air Force Enterprise level to expand and assure remote access capabilities. 50 SCS will provide swift communication to the base when new capabilities become available.
- A new version of VPN (called EURAM) was implemented Air Force-wide the week of 9 March. This new system support 62,500 concurrent connections, but it is currently installed on 194K active duty laptops and new devices come online each day. As the preponderance of the force implements telework plans, please remember that remote access capabilities are shared (and limited) capabilities, so utilize only as mission requires.
How to use the new EURAM VPN service:
1) Establish a functional internet connection (wireless or wired) outside the AFNet
2) Double click on the USAF VPN Client icon on the desktop or by selecting BIG-IP Edge Client through the Start Menu
3) Click “Connect” button – the client will attempt to start a VPN connection
4) The client will display a DoD monitored resource message. Click ‘Okay, Proceed to App” green button to proceed
5) Select the “Authentication Cert” (PIV-Auth) certificate from more choices. Note: Some users who have not migrated may still have to select the 10-digit “ID Cert”
6) After VPN session is established, VPN will minimize to the system tray
7) To Disconnect, open the client and select “Disconnect”. To find the client in the system tray, click on the up arrow in the bottom right corner of your screen near the date/time.
- VPN connectivity will disconnect after two hours of inactivity, or when the computer goes to sleep—whichever occurs first.
- The new VPN capability fielding was expedited; planning and fielding for full capacity continues.
- If not actively working, log off VPN to allow other users to access the AFNET VPN. Utilize OWA Webmail if you only need email access. OWA is the recommended first option if email is your primary requirement
- For additional information see EURAM User Guide in resources section below.
How to use the old VPN service:
If you cannot connect to the new VPN service, you can attempt to use the old VPN system using the following instructions: (Note: The old VPN service is much more limited than the new system. Overall, it only supports 9K simultaneous connections.)
2) Open ‘AFNet VPN Client’ or ‘AFNet SSL VPN Client’
3) Click ‘Connect’ to establish VPN connection
4) Schriever users must select the “Authentication Cert” (16-digit PIV-Auth certificate) from more choices
Additional remote access capabilities:
Outlook Web Access (OWA): Primary option for users needing only email access. Requires AFNet account, CAC reader, personal or government computer. OWA Common Issues/Fixes located in the Resource section below.
- Users Internal to AFNet (on VPN or at work):
1) Open browser, go to website (opens in new window)
2) Select the email certificate to access your email via the internet
- Users External to AFNet:
1) Open browser, go to website (opens in new window)
- S/MIME software is required to open encrypted email in OWA for both home and work computers. This was previously pushed to AF devices for Edge/Chrome, but requires manual installation for personal devices. Of note, there is not an S/MIME solution for Chrome home use.
- Incident tickets and reports indicate that many users are still using previous URLs or typing http instead of https.
- For additional information see SMIME Instructions in resources section below.
Air Force Desktop Anywhere: An AFRC-managed tool that allows users to create a virtual NIPR desktop on their personal computer with a CAC reader and an Internet connection. Desktop Anywhere give users access to all tools available on their work computer to include shared drives, OneDrive, and Outlook Email. 50 SCS does not support issues with Desktop Anywhere, and no Air Force organization supports issues with personal computers. The AFRC’s CFP phone number supporting Desktop Anywhere is comm (478) 327-1999 or DSN 497-1999. CFP’s contact information, installation instructions, and installation files can be found here (opens in new window).
Note: It’s not an official programmed solution for our active duty Airmen and should not be used as a primary tool for telework. It faces similar capacity limitations to AF VPN.
Blackberry Unified Endpoint Management (BUEM) Devices: The following AFNet resources are available via government furnished, BUEM-enabled devices (phones and tablets). BUEM applications offer many capabilities and features that provide access to AFNet resources and enhance productivity for Air Force mobile device users. The following resources are available to BUEM-enabled devices (phones and tablets) that are updated to the mandated iOS version (iOS 13.2):
- Blackberry Work – AFNet email, contacts, and calendar along with the ability to sign and encrypt messages
- Smart Office for Blackberry – Viewing and editing documents and files, include digital signing of configured PDF documents
- Blackberry Access Secure Web Browsing – Access to CAC-enabled websites (DTS, AFPC Secure, AF Portal, MyPay, etc)
- Blackberry Tasks and Blackberry Notes – Allows users to create, edit, and manage tasks and notes that sync with their Microsoft O365/Outlook Tasks
- OneDrive and SharePoint Online – Access to these capabilities can normally be configured through Blackberry Work but are currently unavailable. Full restoral is estimated 23 Mar 20
- BUEM users received a direct email 18 March advertising capabilities available.
- Some BUEM applications referenced above may require user to download through the Work application and should automatically configure when select the UEM Client for access.
- For additional information see Blackberry UEM Instructions and How to Guides in resources section below
Additional collaboration tools/helpful information:
- Setup an Out of Office message on Outlook to provide your contact information. This option can be found in Outlook under File > Automatic Replies (Out of Office). Consider putting either a way to contact you or another POC and their contact information for a particular service. Users can see your Out of Office message when they attempt to email you.
- Microsoft OneDrive can store files/folders from your work computer on the cloud. Users can access OneDrive via VPN or Desktop Anywhere. The OneDrive app can be found by clicking the Windows Start Menu in the lower left corner of you screen and typing “OneDrive”.
- MS Teams is a NIPR tool that allows collaboration and file sharing.
- If you have any questions/concerns or need to report an issue, please contact the CFP at 567-2666, option 1.
OWA Common Issues/Fix (PDF)