Airman brings industry experience to EITaaS mission
By Jessica Casserly, 66th Air Base Group Public Affairs
/ Published August 26, 2021
HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – A program manager here is using his recent Education with Industry experience to bring a new perspective and innovative skills to a critical Air Force mission.
Capt. Andrew Beckman works on the Enterprise Information Technology-as-a-Service, or EITaaS, program as the Microsoft Network-as-a-Service team lead. He arrived at Hanscom in mid-July after a 10-month EWI assignment working for Intel in Chandler, Arizona. The EWI program, run by the Air Force Institute of Technology, is a “highly competitive” career development program designed to expose Airmen to industry best practices and strengthen partnerships.
“The overall goal of the program is to bring the skills and knowledge that you gain from industry back to the Air Force, so when you finish the program, they try to place you at a spot that can easily correlate with your industry work,” said Beckman.
Due in large part to the IT knowledge he gleaned from his time at Intel, Beckman was assigned to Hanscom to lead the EITaaS team working with Microsoft Federal.
“My experience with Intel has already come into play in the last month,” said Beckman. “Intel Federal also works with the Department of Defense, so using what I learned at Intel about how a civilian contractor works, what motivates them and what their bosses care about, I’m able to understand where the Microsoft team is coming from.”
Lt. Col. Theodore Erickson, materiel leader for the EITaaS Integrated Program Office and Beckman’s supervisor, agreed that, in his short time at Hanscom, Beckman has already proven that his recent EWI experience applies directly to the EITaaS team’s work.
“Andrew was able to identify an issue with Wi-Fi deployment at one of our locations and collaboratively built a plan to solve that problem over a matter of days,” Erickson said. “I have no doubt the confidence and skills he developed during his EWI tour led to the quick resolution of that issue.”
Beckman said he also plans to use the sales and marketing skills he witnessed at Intel to help Airmen understand and embrace the network his EITaaS team is helping to develop.
“I learned a lot from Intel in terms of how they market and create a culture that shows the benefits of their product,” he said. “Using my industry experience, I think I can take on the challenge of helping Airmen understand the benefits of using our new network.”
Due to COVID safety protocols, Beckman worked from home throughout his time with Intel but said that didn’t hinder his ability to learn a new industry and find ways to bring those lessons back to the Air Force.
“Intel recently revamped to be more innovative and it’s similar to what the Air Force has gone through,” he said. “We’ve heard the chief of staff of the Air Force say we must ‘accelerate change or lose’ and innovate to get new capabilities out to the warfighter. It was really cool to see those comparisons between Intel and the Air Force.”
Beckman said his EWI experience also gave him a greater awareness of the vast technology capabilities civilian companies have to offer.
“It made me realize that we should be looking closely at what small companies are working on and how we can take things that are already available and tweak them just a little bit to support Air Force needs,” he said.
Reflecting on his experience, Beckman said EWI is “one of the best programs in the Air Force” and encouraged eligible military and civilian personnel to apply.
“Not only will it help you grow personally, but it will help you with leadership skills and in your career as well. It’s truly incredible what some people are doing because of this program,” he said.
To learn more about the EWI program, visit https://www.afit.edu/CIP/page.cfm?page=1567.