LITTLE ROCK, Ark., Jan. 22, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Windstream (Nasdaq:WIN), a leading provider of advanced network communications, announced today that it has been awarded a five-year, $1.6 million contract by the United States Department of Defense to provide fiber connections and services for three U.S. military bases. Installation of diversified, 2.5 GB fiber-optic service is in progress at Fort Sill in Lawton, Okla., providing a faster, more reliable Internet connection to the base. As part of the contract, Tinker Air Force Base outside of Oklahoma City, Okla., and Kelly Field Annex in San Antonio, Texas, will also receive upgraded fiber connections, allowing for increased efficiency and productivity in day-to-day tasks, as well as in mission-critical exercises. "We are thrilled to have been selected to design and deliver these fiber-optic networks to the heroes at Fort Sill, Tinker Air Force Base and Kelly Field Annex," said Mike Magliato, Windstream's vice president of government solutions. "Not only are we excited to be the fiber provider of choice for these important military establishments, we are proud to continue providing voice and data services to the United States government." Located 85 miles southwest of Oklahoma City, Fort Sill trains more than 100,000 troops annually and is home to the 75 th Fires Brigade, 214 th Fires Brigade, and 31 st Air Defense Artillery Brigade. Tinker AFB operates just outside of Oklahoma City and welcomes an average of 27,000 military and civilian employees annually. In addition, approximately 40,000 military men and women will utilize Windstream's connectivity while in transit at Kelly Field Annex (now Lackland AFB) in San Antonio annually. With the constant demand in technology needs at Fort Sill, Tinker AFB and the Kelly Field Annex, the highest level of service and redundancy are necessary to ensure reliable service connectivity. "With Windstream's recent award of a $12 million federal contract to supply voice, data and Internet services over its national fiber network to the Department of Veterans Affairs, we continue to make strides in serving the communications needs of government agencies," said Brent Whittington, Windstream's chief operating officer. "We're committed to providing 'smart solutions, personalized service' to each customer, but consider it quite an honor when selected to serve those who serve us so well."