News Stories

Planning proves paramount for relocation

By Army Pvt. John T. Clark | Defense Information School | January 07, 2016

FORT MEADE, Md. --

Cords dangled from the line of desks like spaghetti over the edge of a plate. Heads emerged from below the desks sporadically as cables became unplugged and tied to themselves. The cables, which were once connected to computers, were organized in piles around the outside of the room.

The computers remained but stood ready to be moved from the south campus of the Defense Information School here to the main campus of DINFOS. Operations were relocated to the main campus because the contract allowing training in the south campus modules expires in February with a deadline to move out Jan. 4.

The planning for the move began in July, and the movement of technology began in September.

The relocation of information technology equipment from south DINFOS to the main campus has required detailed planning and hard work by the IT staff.

Rob Phelps, the DINFOS information technology operations manager,  said his job was to direct the breaking down of IT equipment in the south campus classrooms.

“As rooms are no longer being needed here in the south campus, I break down the rooms and move the computers over to the main, and I’m putting them up into the renovated rooms,” said Phelps.

In the IT department, large sheets filled with blueprints showed the amount of planning and detail that went into the move of IT equipment.

“A lot of the help desk network guys, even though you may not see them often out there helping out, have a lot to do on a technical side,” said Phelps.

Air Force Master Sgt. Bryan Gatewood, a Basic Photojournalist Course instructor, as well as the move coordinator for the Public Affairs Department, said IT was the main concern of the move.

Gatewood said the IT and engineering departments were amazing and everything just worked.

“I have never been to a base where IT has run this smoothly and had everything up and running with this many computers,” said Gatewood.

Brooksann Epiceno, a Content Management Course instructor at DINFOS, said often instructors were given short notice to move their classrooms. She was told Oct. 23 that she would need to move from south campus to the main building for a class beginning Oct. 26.

Epiceno said this time everything was set up and worked when she came in for her class.

Gatewood also said the majority of computers worked the first day of the new class.

“I was (in the classroom) that Friday I think until 5:30 p.m. with a Marine helping me log on to every single computer to make sure that they booted up and recognized the network,” Gatewood said.

Phelps said once the rooms were set up, the help desk IT staff took over to ensure the equipment was properly configured, and the security settings were correct for the next class to begin their school work.

There are a lot of other people involved here in the IT department as well, said Phelps. “I just happen to be a more physical aspect.”

Phelps said he also appreciated the detachments around DINFOS sending people to help with major movements of equipment.

“The detachments have been extremely helpful with this and our department,” said Phelps. If it weren’t for the soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen coming and assisting me and getting this all done, I can’t say we’d be here right now.

Complications are a part of every plan; however, with careful planning and a willing staff, anything is possible.