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Case Study
SBL delivers fast, interactive solution for major helicopter base

A new installation of Exchange 2007 into a network separate from its Ministry of Defence infrastructure but able to interact with it, was required by one of Europe’s largest helicopter bases RNAS Culdrose.

RNAS Culdrose, based at Helston, Cornwall, provides highly- trained helicopter squadrons specialising in antisubmarine warfare, anti-surface warfare and airborne surveillance and control and are deployed to ships worldwide to support the Royal Navy in its global operations.

In preparation for this, trainee aircrew, engineers, air traffic controllers, fire-fighters and flight-deck crews receive intensive training at RNAS Culdrose before joining naval air squadrons for duties at sea.

The Merlin Training Facility (MTF) at RNAS Culdrose is part of 824 Sqn and is the first to encompass pilot, observer, aircrewman and engineering training under one roof.

To deliver this, the facility incorporates a Cockpit Dynamic Simulator (CDS), 3 Rear Crew Trainers (RCT), six Part Task Trainers (PTT), Computer-Based Training (CBT) classrooms, a Mechanical Systems Trainer (MST) and a Weapon Systems Trainer (WST).

After studying RNAS Culdrose’s requirement, SBL found that the domain on to which the Mircosoft Exchange needed to be installed, was a combination of Microsoft Windows versions and new 64bit hardware needed to be bought for the project.

Microsoft Exchange 2007 was installed into a ‘part-installed’ Microsoft Exchange 2003 configuration. Some Microsoft Exchange 2003 objects had already been created so the whole Microsoft Active Directory Forest needed to be cleaned up before the Microsoft Exchange 2007 could be fully installed.

Once this was done, the necessary configuration was carried out to allow operation between the local Merlin Site and the adjacent MoD Microsoft Exchange 2003 system. The work was carried out in two days by SBL’s senior systems consultant.

A spokesperson at RNAS Culdrose, says: “We needed Microsoft Exchange 2007 so our system and the wider MoD network could continue to operate separately but also benefit from connectivity. SBL understood exactly how to meet our requirements and got on with the job. We were very satisfied with their consultancy provided. The senior systems consultant who carried out this work for us is clearly very knowledgeable and provided an excellent service for the two days he was on site.”

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