The Good Stuff


Celebrating A Lifetime Achievement Award: Connecting U.S. Military Bases

By Team Boingo
  • Article
  • 3 min read

Tommy Vaughan proudly served in the Army for 23 years. In 2010 he joined the Army & Air Force Exchange Services (AAFES), where today he is a connectivity telecom program specialist. Talking with Tommy is fascinating. Mixed in with his love for the military are stories of his days serving in Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Kuwait during Desert Storm, and side bars about the best video games and Star Trek fandom.

We recently caught up with Tommy to congratulate him on a significant achievement. This year, AAFES—the organization supporting quality-of-life initiatives for troops—honored Tommy with a lifetime achievement award for launching wireless connectivity on 50 U.S. military bases. Tommy’s achievement is monumental. He’s connected a generation of soldiers, improving their daily lives with access to communication, education, support services and recreational opportunities. His success stems from his keen ability to listen to the unique needs of troops.

“In the early days, we learned a lot deploying wireless networks in Afghanistan for troops. The younger generation wanted Wi-Fi. They didn’t want contracts. They wanted mobility. They wanted to stream. So back in the U.S., we knew we needed to bring easy Wi-Fi access to the troops living on base. We looked for a partner who could do this for us—and we found that partner in Boingo,” explained Tommy.

For miliary personnel, Wi-Fi plans need to move with them. No contracts, no lengthy set up. “We needed a partner who would think big. We needed portability from room to room, barrack to barrack, base to base. That’s how our decade long relationship with Boingo began,” Tommy said.

Boingo partnered with AAFES to design, build and manage extensive Wi-Fi networks at bases around the world, providing troops with high-speed Wi-Fi that moves with them. No contracts, and 24/7/365 customer support. Boingo worked closely with Tommy and his team to ensure networks were installed, secure and easily accessible.

What Tommy, and base leaders worldwide, found is that Wi-Fi connectivity helps service members balance their personal lives with their mission responsibilities, ultimately contributing to mission success. Tommy shared, “when down range, being able to live video chat is the biggest morale booster that I’ve ever seen. And that means a lot to me.”

Congrats to Tommy and the AAFES team for successfully bringing Wi-Fi to service members at 50 U.S. military bases and counting. This adds to Boingo’s deployment of wireless services at more than 85 U.S. military bases worldwide.

If you’re interested in deploying Boingo Wi-Fi at your base, please contact us at