SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --
Airmen here now have access to one terabyte of cloud storage and live collaboration thanks to the Air Force implementation of Microsoft OneDrive.
OneDrive allows Airmen to share and collaborate on documents with selected users and groups in real time through its integration with Microsoft Office 365 suite. The data follows Airmen wherever they go.
“A lot of people wanted to put files on the cloud,” Robert Fowler, 50th Space Communications Squadron operations branch chief, said. “[The purpose of OneDrive is] to free up the space on your work station [or let you access your files] if you [get permanent change of station orders] or [go on temporary deployment] to another base.”
A secure cloud service allows Airmen greater freedom to react to mission demands and maintain mobility without derailing other duties. Fowler said the Defense Department OneDrive cloud is an IL5 environment, meaning it is authorized to contain controlled unclassified information (to include information classified as for official use only). Further information can be found in the “Department of Defense Cloud Computing Security Requirements Guide,” dated March 2017.
Since the OneDrive desktop application will upload, update and synchronize documents automatically, Airmen will access the most up-to-date versions of any stored file. It also adds a level of information security as cloud backup can help prevent the loss of mission-critical documents.
“Once you've logged into it, after a day or two, it's going to ask you to back things up to it — primarily what's on your desktop — so your documents and files are out there to follow you around wherever you go,” Fowler said.
Airmen can store and access almost any type of file 15 GB or smaller through this service. Exceptions include: mp3 audio files, mp4 video files and Microsoft Outlook data storage files due to bandwidth considerations.
Fowler said they’re still learning the additional functions of the system.
“We’re still trying to figure out all the great things you can do,” Fowler said. “We got a question [asking] if you could access it from home. Probably not; you’d have to use a VPN, [though] there is a web link, which was sent out base wide along with a tutorial slide deck.”
Fowler said there’s currently no solution for mobile devices because the system requires a common access card, or CAC, to access it.
However, 1st Lt. Kyle Kirchem said so far, OneDrive continues to run without problems.
“CFP hasn’t received one call or ticket reporting issues with OneDrive,” Kirchem said. “Only about 4 percent of (Air Force) users have configured OneDrive out of 470,000 who could access it.”
Scott Air Force Base, Illinois implemented the first phase of the program in 2018.
“One of the benefits of transitioning to cloud-based commercial services is that it not only allows us to take advantage of current offerings,” Markus Rogers, Air Force Network Integration Center executive director said. “It provides a foundation across the Air Force and Department of Defense to leverage future Microsoft Office 365 collaboration services.”
For questions or concerns about OneDrive, contact the focal point at 567-2666, choose option 1.
Editor's note: Griffin Swartzell, 21st Space Wing Public Affairs, and Marcus Hill, 50th Space Wing Public Affairs, contributed to this article.