NATO's air policing mission is purely defensive. A team of fighter aircraft and crews remain at the ready, 24/7, to react quickly to airspace violations. Needless to say, such a mission requires flawless communications.
"Our mission is maintaining the Alliance's technological edge, even during the COVID-19 pandemic. We had to adapt to travel restrictions and learn to work together remotely. More than ever, CRC site personnel played a critical role. They were the Agency's eyes and hands during the installations," asserted Marina Papassarantis, Voice Loop Service Delivery Manager at the NCI Agency.
The refresh began in 2020 and was successfully completed after just 12 months. This success was only possible thanks to the expertise and dedication of a combined team from different Agency entities, as well as the support from national and Agency staff members at CAOCs and CRCs.
This infrastructure refresh, which will make the technology more resilient, was the first phase of a project to upgrade the entire Voice Loop network. The next phase is to upgrade the system itself in collaboration with industry partners.
"Working on a project of this size during the pandemic was challenging to say the least. By collaborating with other Agency elements, we managed to pull resources together and successfully achieve the hardware upgrades," said Igor Jovanovic, Network Services and IT Infrastructure (NSII) Local Area Network Principal Technician at the NCI Agency.
Christos Georgiadis, Service Delivery Manager for Voice Services, NATO Digital Workplace at the NCI Agency, concluded: "Engineering resources have been stretched throughout the pandemic period. However, we managed to remain focused and maintain a high level of collaboration with the cross-functional teams from NSII and other Agency departments, and that is what pushed the project forward until its completion."