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News > Active Directory, Exchange Migration coming to Minot
Active Directory, Exchange Migration coming to Minot

Posted 11/30/2011   Updated 11/30/2011 Email story   Print story


by 1st Lt. Robert Burckner
Air Force Network Integration Center

11/30/2011 - MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- The 5th Communications Squadron is scheduled to begin migrating from its current network into what is known as the Air Force Network under the Air Force's Active Directory and Exchange migration project on Dec. 19.

Upon completion, Air Force personnel will have the ability to log onto the network from any Air Force base and access their e-mail, calendar, tasks file shares, SharePoint sites and many other applications/services just as if they were at their home station.

As part of the Air Force communication community's effort to improve network connectivity, this migration will allow the total force access to information regardless of their location. Through the use of CAC enabled computers, users will now have 24/7 access from not only home station, but also from temporary duty and deployed Air Force locations around the world.

So what exactly does the term "network migration" really mean? In essence, all member network and e-mail accounts, including Blackberries, as well as shared information files, will migrate from the Minot AFB network into the AFNet.

While most of these changes will be transparent to the user, the most noticeable will be in the format of e-mail addresses. The migration replaces the old first.last@minot.af.mil e-mail address with the standard first.last@us.af.mil e-mail address, allowing central management of these accounts.

If more than one person has the same first and last name, the standard will be first.last.#@us.af.mil. In addition to global access to information and e-mail, Airmen will be assigned a permanent e-mail address they will carry throughout their career. No matter how many times they change duty stations, it will remain the same.

Once an account is created, it remains for a career. One huge advantage is that no matter where an Airman is in the TDY, deployment or PCS process, Airmen will have an active and functioning e-mail account to use as long as the Airman has access to a CAC and CAC enabled machine.

In the past, Airmen had to wait for a new account to be created each time they went TDY, deployed, or PCS. With one centrally managed network and a lifelong account, this wait will be eliminated, leading to increased productivity and efficiency.

One point worth noting however is until the entire AF migrates, there will still be instances where a user's e-mail address will revert back to the old style if the base or Major Command assigned has not yet migrated.

While the us.af.mil address will still work, it will direct your e-mail back to the account created at your new base. Rest assured that post migration e-mail will appear/function the same as before, and users will still be able to access common applications such as reading/composing e-mail, access tasks, calendars, contact list and shared files.

Some other noticeable benefits include information security and a reduction in the time it takes to patch computer systems and eliminate potential vulnerabilities. Another change will be standardized mailbox sizes based on user categories. Most base users at Minot AFB will see their storage double. The new limits are as follows:

· Category 1 (1GB): Senior decision makers and associated organizational mailboxes
· Category 2 (500MB): Essential support personnel and associated organizational mailboxes
· Category 3 (100 MB): Standard users and associated

The migration will also result in a consolidated customer service help desk called the Enterprise Service Desk.

The ESD will serve as a one-stop shop for the resolution of common user problems and can be reached at DSN 945-2900, or Commercial at 210-925-2900.

The migration will be completed in phases and in close coordination with the local communications squadron. Migration information will flow a number of ways, and will include e-mails and base newspaper articles.

Each unit will be notified individually and asked to follow a few simple steps to help ensure a successful migration. Included in these directions will be detailed steps on how to use PST files.

A unit-by-unit migration schedule will also be developed, and when approved by senior leadership, will be released to Minot AFB users to help minimize impact to normal operations.

Because it could take up to two days for new accounts to be replicated across the Air Force, an official notice will also be sent via the AF Portal informing users that Minot AFB e-mail addresses may not immediately be recognized in the Global Address List.

The Minot AFB communications squadron will send separate and specific instructions concerning BlackBerry devices and how to move mail to Exchange servers to prevent deletion. Local client system technicians will be available to lend assistance and prevent the loss of data.

Further information is available through your local communications squadron or by accessing the following link: https://cs.eis.af.mil/a6/programs/adx/MAJCOM/default.aspx.

[Editors Note: This article was originally published by AFNIC. It was localized to communicate more directly to the Team Minot audience.]

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