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Edwards donates computers to base schools

A stack of computers wait for delivery to the Muroc Joint Unified School District on Dec. 15, 2006, as part of the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service's Department of Defense Computers for Learning program. (Photo by Mike Cassidy)

A stack of computers wait for delivery to the Muroc Joint Unified School District on Dec. 15, 2006, as part of the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service's Department of Defense Computers for Learning program. (Photo by Mike Cassidy)

EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- During the holiday season Edwards donated 79 computers to the Muroc Joint Unified School District schools.

This is part of the Department of Defense Computers for Learning program -- a program that Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service does to the excess or old computers.

"As the (95th) Communications Group refreshes computers, we take the old or excess computers and try to donate them to schools and different (Department of Defense) organizations through the DRMS process," said Mike Smith, JT3/Unisys equipment control officers.

The asset management office performs accountability, excess and receiving for the different computers for the base.

"What we do is a 'cradle to grave' process," Mr. Smith said. "We bring in the new (equipment), we account for it, and then we get rid of the old."

When serviceable computers come in that meet the donation requirements, the office donates them to the different organizations. The program started in October 2001. Last year alone, they donated more than 1,195 items.

"We received letters from multiple organizations within the local community requesting donations," Mr. Smith said. "We wipe the hard drives based on the DoD requirements so they get a working computer without an operating system."

Schools on base are no exception as the MJUSD will distribute the computers to Bailey Elementary School, Branch Elementary School, Edwards Middle School and Desert High School.

"We are in a smaller district," said Londa Jacobs, district technology officer with the MJUSD.

Muroc schools don't receive as much money as other districts such as the Los Angeles district, Mr. Jacobs said. This type of programs gives the schools on base the opportunity to keep the technology up to date.

This is one way to help the kids, Mr. Jacobs said. It also helps the schools to spend money on other things such as educational programs.

The systems will be reloaded and used at various schools on base. New operating systems will be installed and will be tested for defects.

"It is really a nice of them to do this," said Steve Romero, district technology officer with the MJUSD. "It saves money for the school. We appreciate them doing this."

The program is a win-win situation for the base and the school district, Mr. Smith said.

"We should be giving our excess computer units to our community," he said. "I would love to see the program continue."