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PACAF Operations Support Center (POSC)

The Challenge

The events of September 11th initiated a flurry of activity across the Department of Defense as the US Armed Forces mobilized for Homeland Defense and for action overseas. Faced with this accelerated ramp-up, the Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) needed to improve the command's ability to access critical security and readiness information across their area of responsibility (AOR). In particular, they needed to replace their cumbersome manual information gathering and action tasking system with a solution that allowed commanders to easily browse and view important information related to the AOR and immediately review the status of current tasks.

The Solution

Threats to national security made the immediate, effective deployment of this project essential to success. After a short but intense appraisal of PACAF's requirements, CTA Development, with the assistance of the PACAF Systems Development Flight, elected to utilize Microsoft's SharePoint Portal Server. It was the only development tool that could be flexible and powerful enough to work with various types of programs yet be developed and deployed in a short frame of time. PACAF's need to categorize, store, search a wide variety of documents and maintain multiple versions of these documents made Sharepoint the obvious choice.

The development process started quickly by first interviewing staffers in the PACAF Operations Support Center (POSC), to gain familiarity with the various types of documents that the POSC sifts through daily. Based on observations gathered during the interviews, a directory structure for SharePoint Portal's Web Storage System was created that would allow staffers to organize documents and information received into various categories using the familiar Windows Explorer interface.

CTA Development classified documents into two major document types; daily reads and taskers, they then created document profiles to directly associate the two categories. Sharepoint's flexibility and power recognized the relationship and empowered POSC end users, who could now include specific attributes, or metadata, such as the document's priority, the relevant operation(s), and its due date for action to each document.

With the SharePoint framework designed and implemented, CTA Development proceeded to construct a web application to allow one click access to the daily reads and taskers stored in their new SharePoint web store. By simply hyper linking to this application, the POSC was able to integrate this application into their existing set of web tools and alleviate the complications usually associated with integrating a new application.

Solution Profile

POSC SharePoint Portal is a Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server implementation that allows the Pacific Air Forces to organize and manage critical information related to PACAF operations worldwide.

Solution Benefits

  • Ability to organize, categorize and search a wide variety of documents and information.
  • Ability to attach attributes or metadata to individual documents.
  • Ability to maintain multiple versions of the same document.

Software and Services

Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server
Microsoft Windows 2000 Server