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Vandenberg operating services set for makeover

Beginning May 1, Vandenberg telephone operator services will be eliminated and replaced by new, automated customer service phone lines. When customers call 805-606-1110 for information, they will now be greeted with an automated voice tree service that will prompt them to choose a number for the office they are trying to contact and the phone tree will connect them automatically. (U.S. Air Force graphic by Jan Kays/Released)

Beginning May 1, Vandenberg telephone operator services will be eliminated and replaced by new, automated customer service phone lines. When customers call 805-606-1110 for information, they will now be greeted with an automated voice tree service that will prompt them to choose a number for the office they are trying to contact and the phone tree will connect them automatically. (U.S. Air Force graphic by Jan Kays/Released)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Beginning May 1, Vandenberg telephone operator services will be eliminated and replaced by new, automated customer service phone lines.

When customers call 805-606-1110 or Defense Switched Network 276-1110 for information, they will now be greeted with an automated voice tree service that will prompt them to choose a number for the office they are trying to contact and the phone tree will connect them automatically. Additionally, if base customers dial 0 or 411 they can also reach the voice tree service.

This new option originated with Air Force Space Command in October 2014 with other bases joining in for fiscal reasons.

"Services are being descoped from contracts as a cost savings measure," said Eddie Ybarra, 30th Space Communications Squadron deputy director. "After an extensive review of call volumes and requirements, the determination was made that these functions could be automated across the command."

The transition to an automated system will provide contributions on multiple levels for members of Team V.

"The automated system will run across multiple avenues," said Lt. Col. Michael Myers, 30th SCS commander. "After looking at frequent calls over the past couple of months that were recommended for population, we designed an automated call tree feature that we could implement here on base. This call tree will go out to the wing and the tenant units for their coordination on numbers they'd like to have populated."

Another service provided is the ability to schedule conference calls.

"Meet Me conferencing can be scheduled by calling 805-606-3987," said Michael Blow, 30th SCS project manager. "All base personnel will be able to call locally to Vandenberg, the DSN and Lompoc phone numbers. To dial anything else, members will have to have Networx, otherwise known as FTS, established on the line. FTS is what is used for local long distance and regular long distance calls. If it is needed they will have to get approval through their squadron commander and a work order will be created."

In addition to the features provided by the new system, it will also play a pivotal role in future mission success at Vandenberg.

"It's going to allow our operators to concentrate on other actions that are required of their expertise," said Myers. "Right now they wear two hats; one as operators and the other performing a lot of network security functions. By allowing us to migrate to this automated feature, it will create more time for them to focus on the primary mission of making sure our network is secure and available for use by our base customer."

In an Air Force that is constantly changing, adaptation is key to assuring these new methods of communication.

"We live in a very dynamic world," said Ybarra. "We are constantly evolving to new and improved methods of communicating. These changes will capitalize on already proven web services and make a difference in fulfilling our fiduciary responsibilities. Every little bit counts."