So why a picture of me in uniform from 2000? The answer lies in this article published last month titled Air Force Network Operations begins migration to centralized e-mail, network services:
The Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz signed a directive memorandum here recently granting the Air Force Network Operations commander centralized order-issue authority over the operation, defense, maintenance and control of Air Force networks.
As part of an ongoing service-wide cyber operations transformation, the Air Force will establish a centralized user directory and e-mail service known as ADX that will service all Air Force network users.
The changes will be relatively transparent to most network users, but this migration to centralized services will significantly improve security and efficiency on the Air Force Global Information Grid, officials said.
"Major commands and subordinate commanders will no longer 'own' networks, but will be responsible for their portion of the larger AF-GIG," General Schwartz stated in a mass e-mail to Airmen.
I find this fascinating because I was part of a group assembled in late 2000, a few months before I left the Air Force (early 2001), tasked with the same mission. Among other tasks, we were told to centralize Air Force email by June 2001. I think many people in the group photo are laughing hysterically because we knew it was impossible to accomplish anything in the time allotted.
The centralization process has apparently already started:
Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., is the first base to undergo the transformation with 1,800 out of 5,800 users already transferred. Over the next 18 months, the complete migration will include approximately 750,000 users at more than 240 locations around the world.
So, about 11 years after being told to accomplish the same task, the effort will be done! I think there are lessons here for anyone with a similarly large, bureaucratic, turf-centric, distributed, decentralized, global organization.