REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. – To curtail the spread of the COVID-19, Army Materiel Command has approved maximized workforce flexibilities, including options for leave, flexible work schedules and telework.
“We are directing telework-eligible employees who are able to perform their duties outside of the office, and have the ability to telework, to do so,” said AMC Commander Gen. Gus Perna. “While this is a necessary step to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and mitigate the risk to our workforce, we must not lose sight of our mission. Remember, our Soldiers downrange and on installations worldwide rely on our services and support every day.”
Keeping the enterprise virtually connected requires extra support from the information technology (IT) specialists who keep the Army’s systems and networks running, said Daniel Bradford, AMC Chief Information Officer (G 2/6).
“Our personnel are working hard to maximize bandwidth and ensure those teleworking have the capabilities they need to continue their critical work,” said Bradford. “With the additional strain on our resources, it’s important for everyone to practice network optimization and follow the guidance put out by the Department of Defense and your local IT specialists.”
To ensure the networks can continue to handle the additional workload, employees are asked to adhere to the following guidance:
-Log off Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection when it is not being used or not necessary.
-Utilize the Army Outlook Web Access (OWA) as an alternative to VPN. (hyperlink: https://web-mont05.mail.mil/)
-Limit all non-mission essential activity on government-furnished equipment.
-Study and follow the Acceptable Use Policy for government systems.
-Use the Defense Department’s Secure Access File Exchange (SAFE) site to share large files.
-Do not auto forward your office phone to an off-site number unless required by your organization; instead, provide an alternative number or email for contact while teleworking.
-Visit these websites for additional information: https://cyber.mil or https://public.cyber.mil.
While things will be done a little differently when working from home, telework provides eligible employees the opportunity to maintain readiness and complete their tasks as if they were working traditionally in their building, said Carlen Chestang, AMC human resources (G-1) deputy chief of staff.
“When you are on telework, your availability, your hours and your protection of our information is no different from when you are here,” Chestang said. “This is an opportunity for the AMC workforce to continue to support the mission during this crisis, or any other. Telework gives our leadership the confidence that our mission is still being completed and we are continuing to support the Soldier.”
Teleworking employees should report daily to their supervisor for accountability, but also check-in with their coworkers to maintain well-being.