by Mike Corson, Delivery Manager, USCG C4ISR Acquisition Program
On this Fourth of July weekend, I started thinking about the past three and a half months and these trying times with the entire world in flux. Particularly, I thought about the response to the COVID-19 National Emergency by our VectorCSP Coast Guard C4ISR Technical Engineering Support team. Our Moorestown, New Jersey team has responded much in the fashion of our US Coast Guard customer and has exemplified the Coast Guard motto – “Semper Paratus” – Always Ready!
Since the advent of the COVID-19 National Emergency, our 13-member team has proven our agility, flexibility and adaptability to continue providing the critical support our Coast Guard customer relies on for mission accomplishment. When first notified by the Coast Guard that all Active Duty, government civilian, and contractor personnel would have to transition to a telework posture, our team responded adeptly and immediately transitioned to the new telework environment.
In compliance with a March 2020 Coast Guard ALCOAST message and guidance pertaining to the telework capabilities in response to COVID-19, all members of our Moorestown team immediately completed the Federal Government “Telework 101 Fundamentals for Employees” training course and executed Coast Guard Telework Agreements. The team quickly transitioned to the telework environment and participated in a Coast Guard-directed Telework Exercise in order to stress the Non-Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)/Virtual Private Network (VPN) methods of telework in order to determine impact to the Coast Guard telework posture.
As the COVID-19 National Emergency response has escalated, our team showed its resilience by seamlessly transitioning from an onsite Coast Guard work posture to a mandatory telework setting, performing mission essential functions from their homes utilizing Government issued laptop computers. Our team members proficiently connected to the Coast Guard Portal and accessed essential project and job task information and documentation to optimally perform their contractual and mission essential job functions.
Capitalizing on critical IT resources, our Moorestown team optimized customer support by leveraging a variety of tools and capabilities, including Coast Guard Virtual Private Network (CG VPN), Outlook Web Application (OWA), and the Department of Defense (DoD) Cyber Exchange Defense Collaboration Services (DCS). DCS has proven particularly advantageous, as it provides our team with web conferencing and chat capabilities and includes the ability to share content and presentations, and provide audio and video collaboration, recording, and playback capabilities.
As the Coast Guard rolled out their virtual collaboration application, known as Commercial Virtual Remote (CVR), our team joined the more than 5,100 Coast Guard members in the CVR environment. The CVR environment is a commercially available collaboration tool tailored for DoD customers that leverages Microsoft Teams, and was created to help the DoD community work remotely from anywhere in the world during the COVID-19 National Emergency. VectorCSP’s early adoption of MS Teams as a collaborative solution helped our Moorestown team quickly adapt to the CVR environment.
Beginning in May and June, our team began providing onsite support in the Coast Guard C4ISR System Acceptance and Integration Laboratory and onboard a Coast Guard National Security Cutter (NSC). While performing essential functions in the laboratory, a potential COVID-19 increased-risk environment, team members proficiently accomplished their tasks while vigilantly adhering to Coast Guard COVID-19 special access, social distancing and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) requirements. In keeping with VectorCSP’s commitment to “exceeding expectations,” one team member went above and beyond when his expertise was requested by the client and he traveled to California in May and June under COVID-19 National Emergency conditions to be onboard a Coast Guard NSC to support the successful completion of Combat Systems Ship Qualification Trials (CSSQT).
Our Moorestown team epitomizes VectorCSP’s core value of “work smart and hard to make government work better.” Their professionalism and unwavering focus on their customer’s mission exemplify the commitment to delivery excellence, even during the most challenging times.