Mr. Mark Negron, Information Technology (IT) Specialist Network, GS-2210-12 serves as a Network Administrator (NA) for DoDEA Europe. Since October, Mark has been the only NA and has been responsible for the daily operation and performance monitoring of network systems relating to voice, wireless, firewalls, IP based video distribution and streaming, and data communications. He is also responsible for installation/activation of network systems in MILCON schools and weekend on call support for on-line assessments. These responsibilities are normally shared by two (2) other full time employees as well as one contractor.
In response to Voice Over IP (VoIP) outages in Naples, Alconbury and Sigonella, Mark has worked with United States Air Force (USAF) and United States Navy technicians to isolate the causes which are typically identified as systems operated by the services to provide VoIP capability in the schools. Mr. Negron worked with Navy technicians in Sigonella and identified the need for changes on their systems to resolve VoIP issues impacting the schools. As the Navy technicians did not have the experience operating these systems to implement needed changes, Mark developed an alternate plan that will connect Sigonella schools to the DoDEA VoIP hub in Vicenza. This plan is being submitted to the IT Change Control board for review and if approved will be implemented in early January 2020.
The United States Army is in the process of implementing system changes that will require consolidation of DoDEA VoIP for all schools located on Army installations throughout Europe. Mark has been working with both Army, as well as DoDEA technicians on a plan to complete these consolidations that will be implemented over the next 2 years, based on the Army schedule. These changes will include the lifecycle replacement of all DoDEA VoIP systems serving schools and offices in Europe. The Wiesbaden schools will be the first to be consolidated to meet the U.S. Army schedule and will be completed in January 2020.
In support of a short notice requirement to train personnel who will be moving into the new Spangdahlem MHS, Mr. Negron was sent temporary duty (TDY) to complete the installation of the network and connect the new school to the Internet. As the planned 1GB circuit had not yet been delivered Mark worked with USAF technicians to implement a temporary connection to the current Spangdahlem HS. Mark’s efforts ensured that the network was fully operational 30 days early and the training was able to be completed.
When notified that the Internet was not accessible for Ramstein schools Mark initiated troubleshooting that resulted in no issues identified in DoDEA systems. He then started to contact USAF technicians to assist in troubleshooting their systems. This was complicated as the base was in the middle of Operation Varsity 19-04 and most of the technicians were busy supporting the exercise. Once the Air Force technicians understood the impact of the outage some were released to troubleshoot. The issue was identified as a cut fiber optic cable near where the new high school is being built. Mark reconfigured DoDEA systems to use alternate paths identified by USAF technicians and service was restored after 49 hours. Responding to the outages identified as well as others has taken up much of his time, but it should be noted that Mark has been also performing maintenance of DoDEA network systems as well as working with DoDEA technicians on the VoIP lifecycle replacement project.
While all of this work is part of Mark's daily duties he would normally have 3 additional technicians assisting.