CAROLINA, Puerto Rico – The National Guard Bureau's A/6 communications directorate is helping the Puerto Rico Air National Guard's 156th Communications Flight finalize plans to move a network control center to protect against hurricane damage.
Like many buildings on base, the main hangar at Muñiz Air National Guard Base in Puerto Rico was severely damaged by Hurricane Maria in 2017. The hangar has been condemned and will be demolished, but the network control center is still on the ground level. The hurricane left a hole in the roof above the NCC, so when it rains, the integrity of the equipment is threatened.
The NCC equipment operates the command and control for the 156th Wing and its units around the island and in St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
"We truly need help," said Capt. Carlos Vera, the 156th Communications Flight commander. "Just having the A/6 come down here to Puerto Rico to see what's going on and to help us out to make sure the base gets recovered, it's very important."
A plan is in place to relocate the NCC with minimal downtime in a building that is under construction.
"It's complicated, but we have a good plan, a plan that was approved by the A/6 staff. We have a goal and we have the plan to get to that goal in time," said Chief Master Sgt. Adalberto Luciano, the 156th Communications Flight cyber operations manager.
Relocating the unit's network control center will enable the PRANG to move forward as it takes on its new contingency response and combat communications missions.
"We have a plan for better facilities in the future, so let's go ahead and start this ball rolling so we can move forward," said Luciano. "We're using something bad that happened to us to make an opportunity to put new modern equipment in place."
Equipment upgrades and relocating to a better facility will fortify a secure network control center that will deliver increased efficiency and a faster network for the PRANG.
"The endorsement of the A/6 to say we came up with the right solutions, we have a good plan, and they helped us to realize where we could improve and enhance, that means we're being proactive and can actually bring the solution that we really need for our problem," said Luciano.