United States Air Force Deploys ReefEdge WLANs

By Matthew Peretz

October 09, 2001

Chose company's products based on security, scalability, and management features

ReefEdge, a WLAN development company founded in 2000 by former executives of AT&T, IBM, and Prodigy, announced today that it will be supplying its technology to the United States Air Force (USAF) for their wireless LAN deployments. The deployments will take place at the USAF Air Mobility Command (AMC) center and other air transportation centers worldwide, according to ReefEdge.

ReefEdge Connect Systems deployed by the USAF will be used to created WLANs based on the ReefEdge Connect Server and ReefEdge Connect Bridges. The company described the bridges as acting like micro-firewalls at the edge of the network, making possible the stringent needs for mobility, security, and management features. ReefEdge stated that their system works with all mobile devices and does not require installation of new client software.

The USAF transportation centers are part of the Global Air Transportation Execution System (GATES). This is the USAF's system for processing and tracking cargo and passengers, supporting resource management by providing logistical information, generating reports, and providing messaging and delivery services for all airlift data. To that end, the USAF is installing secure WLANs throughout its centers.

Security has been one of the major stumbling blocks for enterprise-level implementation of 802.11 products. According to Gemma Paulo of Cahners In-Stat group, however, "The fact that the US Air Force has chosen ReefEdge Connect Systems to boost wireless security is a plus for the wireless LAN industry, which has been criticized for its weak security standards."

The USAF Air Mobility Command is headquartered at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois. Its operations involve over 141,000 military and civilian personnel, and is the air component of the U.S. Transportation Command, and the singular manager for the air mobility for the U.S. armed forces. The AMC provides airlift, air refueling, special air missions, and aeromedical evacuation for U.S. forces. It also supplies forces to theater commands to support wartime tasking.

The ReefEdge products were chosen for their scalability, security, and performance features, as well as their minimal infrastructure requirements in hardware, software, and network configuration costs.

Matthew Peretz is Managing Editor of 802.11-Planet.com



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