Avaya assembling Air Force networks

The Air Force announced this week that it has awarded contracts totaling $18.7 million to Avaya Inc. to manage the deployment of data networks at two South Carolina bases.

The upgrades are part of the Combat Information Transport System (CITS) program, a multiyear initiative focused on using commercial products to modernize information technology at the base level at more than 120 Air Force locations worldwide.

Work that began this week on the networks for Shaw and Charleston Air Force bases is scheduled for completion in November 2003, according to the company. The contracts were awarded Sept. 20. Basking Ridge, N.J.-based Avaya is designing unique networks for each base's approximately 4,000 users by working with local officials to understand current and future networking and communications requirements for:

* Voice, video and data applications.

* Network reliability.

* User access.

Avaya will completely assemble and test each network device at its Tampa, Fla., data services facility. The company then will disassemble and ship each bar-coded network component for a turnkey installation at the bases.

Bob Fortna, president of Avaya's government solutions business, said the company understands each Air Force base's "unique communications requirements."

"We're maximizing their data networking capabilities with existing infrastructure and specified upgrades that will allow growth flexibility for them in the future," he said.

Shaw Air Force Base is home to the 20th Fighter Wing and the F-16C/J aircraft. Charleston Air Force Base is the home of the 437th Airlift Wing and the C-17 Globemaster III aircraft.

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