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The Air Force are replacing 5,000 BlackBerry’s with iOS devices. This comes not long after Samsung gained a US Military order for 7,000 smartphones. The initial rollout of modernized commercial mobile technologies has begun across the Air Force. The rollout of CMT devices will focus on BlackBerry replacement and Executive users and distribution will be focused on enabling approximately 5,000 iOS devices. Each Air Force Major Command will be allowed to provision an accelerated amount of devices per month until their allocated licenses are used. Mobile device users should contact their MAJCOM Mobile point of contact to start the replacement process for their BlackBerry.
“Mobile devices offer unprecedented opportunities to advance operational effectiveness,” said Brig General Kevin Wooton, Air Force Space Command Director of Communications. “The ultimate beneficiary of the vast mobile device capability is the warfighter.”
Once transitioned to the new iOS device by the Air Force Enterprise Service Desk, the user will be provided with the CMT Users Welcome Letter and Quick Start Guide to assist the user with the new device. Pilot tests have been running across Air Force Space Command, Air Mobility Command, and Air Combat Command since October 2011.
“The pilot tests we have run have shown positive results with the user communities,” said General Wooton. “However, we’ve only scratched the surface. As the number of users grows, we’re confident our Airmen will find new and innovative ways to enhance operations and job effectiveness.”
CMT objectives are centered on added productivity and capabilities, all within a properly balanced security approach allowing the Air Force to tap into the fast-moving stream of technology development in the commercial market, but with the security and functionality needed for Air Force users. Eventually all Air Force users will be required to transition off the legacy mobile solutions to an iOS device or approved smartphone/tablet device.
“In order to keep costs down and save on network resources, BlackBerrys will be turned in and shut off once the user is transitioned to an iOS device,” said General Wooton. “Any new BlackBerry provisions beyond Jan. 1, 2014 will require a waiver from AFSPC/A6.”
For additional information about the CMT devices and the transition from BlackBerry to an iOS device please contact your MAJCOM mobility representative.