Wichita The Air National Guard's Network Operations and Security Center is about to become an important part of the war on terror, offering Internet security for more than 300 National Guard sites around the country.
The center, called an NOSC, will service computer networks for more than 100,000 National Guard personnel, protecting the system from hackers and possible terrorist activity. It will also work in conjunction with the Kansas Air National Guard's 161st Intelligence Squadron, which provides near real-time analysis of data gathered worldwide by reconnaissance aircraft.
The center will go online Oct. 1.
"It is a jewel in the crown for Wichita," said Col. Gary Wells, commander of the 184th Information Operations Group.
The NOSC at McConnell Air Force Base is one of only 12 in the world that has the capability of conducting computer war gaming and tactics training in computer network defense. Both the NOSC and a future center for the intelligence squadron are being tailored for expansion as demand for the collection and analysis of information evolves.
The center is going through several weeks of testing to make sure everything operates the way it is supposed to, Lt. Col. Ross Flynn said.
The 161st already assesses intelligence at an interim facility at McConnell. Ground for its permanent facility will be broken in the next 30 days, with construction expected to take up to 18 months.