14th CS maintains base-wide computer efficiency
By 2nd Lt. Alexandra Scarboro, 14th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs
/ Published November 13, 2020
COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. --
Over the past few months computer workstations have projected a Basic Input Output System splash screen, warning users that their device is going to be disconnected from the network.
The BIOS is used to instruct the computer on how to perform basic functions, as well as identify and configure the hard drive.
The Network Control Center (NCC) scans the network for devices that have outdated BIOS versions and sends notice to users.
Behind the scenes of this warning page is Staff Sgt. Deanna Johnson, 14th Communications Squadron client systems supervisor and her team of experts who monitor threats to the installation network.
Ensuring the security of the base, Johnson’s team, a group of five individuals, has worked relentlessly over the past few months to update a total of 1,600 devices with outdated BIOS.
“There was a network outage that lasted several days leaving the department unable to update any computers,” Johnson said. “Although there was a schedule sent out base wide for different squadrons to turn in their computers at certain times, there were still people who failed to bring in their computers.”
To assist mission critical areas, Johnson’s team members were sent to workstations to accomplish the updates.
“Depending on the device, an update can take anywhere from 20-30 minutes,” Johnson said. “Although that does not seem like a long time, with 1,600 devices to update, that equals over 500 hours of time put into updates alone for the Communications Squadron.
Currently, computers with the BIOS splash screen have priority, but once all of the computers on base have been updated, Johnson’s team can refocus more of their attention on other device issues.
“As long as everyone backs their devices up properly, their information is safe,” said Staff Sgt. Corey Frey, 14th Communications Squadron client systems supervisor. “Everyone should have received an email with instructions on how to back up their computers.”
There are still over 500 devices that need to be updated on Columbus AFB. Any devices that have the BIOS splash page should be turned into the 14th CS in building 900 as soon as possible.