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News > Feature - Home use programs provide software to Airmen
Home use programs provide software to Airmen

Posted 2/4/2011   Updated 2/9/2011 Email story   Print story


by Staff Sgt. Julius Delos Reyes
31st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

2/4/2011 - AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy -- For Airmen, having the same software at home that they do at work allows them to produce standardized Air Force products in a safe and secure digital environment.

Because of this, the Air Force has partnered with major software companies to provide its people a variety of software products, such as anti-virus, middleware and desktop programs, free of charge or at a discounted price.

"The Department of Defense Antivirus Software License Agreement with McAfee and Symantec allows DoD employees to use the antivirus software for home use," said Master Sgt. Michael Hackett, 31st Communications Squadron network operations section chief. "The Microsoft Home Use program permits eligible Air Force personnel to order a licensed copy of select Microsoft Office desktop applications to install and use on their home. ActivClient middleware enables DoD personnel to conduct official business away from their office with the capability, security and access of their common access cards."

Under the Microsoft HUP, eligible employees may obtain one licensed copy of each qualifying Microsoft Office desktop software program available to install and use on a home computer. The HUP is a partnership between Microsoft and the Air Force.

"Part of the agreement was for Air Force personnel to reap these benefits by buying Microsoft programs at discounted price," Sergeant Hackett said.

Software are available for approximately $10 through the HUP. Those eligible to participate in this program include Air Force active-duty military personnel, Air National Guard personnel, Air Force contractor and Federally Funded Research and Development Centers personnel working on Air Force installations with Government Furnished Equipment and Non-Appropriated Fund.

Software available through the Microsoft HUP includes Office Professional Plus 2010, Mircosoft Project Professional 2010, Microsoft Visio Premium 2010, and Office 2008 for Mac. Office Professional Plus 2010 includes Word 2010, Excel 2010, Powerpoint 2010, Outlook 2010, OneNote 2007, SharePoint Workspace 2010, Publisher 2010, Access 2010 and InfoPath 2010.
Home use of the antivirus products will not only protect personal PCs at home, but will also potentially lessen the threat of employees bringing malicious logic into work and compromising DoD networks. DoD military and civilian personnel can download free antivirus software for their home computers from the DoD Patch Repository website. Contractors are excluded from using the software at home or on any other system not belonging to the DoD.

"Having the antivirus software helps your personal computer at home be better protected," said Tech. Sgt. Oran McClellan, 31st CS configuration management NCO in charge. "The safer the actual computers are at home, the safer the (files) that Air Force personnel are going to bring back to work."

The middleware package provides software for conducting official Air Force business from non-government machines. Availability of this software by the Air Force Public Key Infrastructure System Program Office does not infer approval to access AF resources and/or working away from the office. Approval for accessing AF resources from non-AF machines and/or working away from the office is at the discretion and direction of the appropriate command authority.

Middleware enables interface between a computer and the certificates on CACs. These certificates are required to access Outlook Web Access for e-mail, the Air Force Portal, networks and systems, and DoD websites.

"At the end of the day, these programs allows Air Force personnel to be able to work on Air Force-related projects from their home, which enables them to spend more time at home instead of staying longer hours at work," Sergeant Hackett said. "It also enables the members to perform work-related tasks or projects while on temporary duty."

For more information on how to purchase discounted Microsoft products or download middleware and antivirus software, visit the Home Use Software website on the Air Force Portal or call the 31st CS focal point at DSN 632-2666.

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