The Defense Information Systems Agency is bringing its broad resources to bear in an effort to improve the cloud and deliver its capabilities to the warfighter. Since the agency has absorbed defensewide cloud services earlier this year, it sees an opportunity to provide greater cloud capabilities to the warfighter faster and at less cost.
The Department of Defense will no longer pursue its $10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) cloud effort, announcing on July 6 that it had begun the contract termination process for the contested solicitation. The DoD explained that the “contract no longer meets its needs,” due to changing requirements, technology advances and increased understanding of cloud environments.
The unexpected pivot to a largely remote workforce has put unprecedented pressure on communications capabilities and systems, and this pressure extends beyond voice and conference access. Government and military agencies are increasingly working to interconnect information, people and resources, but to do so efficiently, they must leverage existing unified communication solutions, platforms and processes. As agencies adapt, the goal is to ensure continued access to data through secure and reliable methods.
Competition in the information domain does not happen nationally. It happens locally, said Ben Leo, CEO and co-founder of Fraym, an international open-source intelligence and data analytics company.
“Competition in the information domain simply doesn’t happen at the national level. It happens in communities, neighborhoods, and even down to individual households or homes,” Leo said during a SIGNAL Executive Video Series discussion with Robert K. Ackerman, SIGNAL Magazine’s editor in chief.
Smartronix LLC, Hollywood, Maryland, has been awarded a contract modification (P00004) on contract HTC711-20-F-D076 in the amount of $7,822,731 to provide continued Amazon Web Service cloud service support to the U.S. Transportation Command. Work will be performed primarily on-site at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois. The option period of performance is from March 30, 2021, to March 29, 2022. This modification brings the total cumulative face value of the contract to $13,037,885 from $5,215,154. The U.S. Transportation Command, Directorate of Acquisition, Scott AFB, Illinois, is the contracting activity.
The future enterprise will be edge-centric, cloud enabled and data driven, said Bill Burnham, CTO, U.S. Public Sector Business Unit, Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
He shared his ideas during an AFCEA online event titled “The Edge Is Where the Action Is!”
The U.S. Defense Department is developing a machine learning tool that can more quickly detect cyber intrusions and enable a more rapid response.
The General Services Administration (GSA) and the Defense Department reported on October 30 that the $4.4 billion, 10-year Defense Enterprise Office Solutions (DEOS) Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) had been awarded again to General Dynamics Information Technology.
The original DEOS BPA award in August 2019 was heavily protested. The GSA then amended the solicitation, received and evaluated new quotes and according to the GSA, “made an award to the vendor that was determined to provide the best value to the government.”
For the last six months, the U.S. military has been on the frontlines in the fight against the pandemic, providing necessary supplies and medical support across the country. Meanwhile, internally, the U.S. Defense Department has faced the threat of the virus with its warfighters. More than 55,000 Defense Department personnel have had the COVID-19 virus, and there have been 79 deaths—including one active-duty member, seven reservists or National Guard personnel and 71 dependents, retirees or family members, reported Lt. Gen. Ronald Place, USA, director, Defense Health Agency (DHA).
CDW Government LLC, Vernon Hills, Illinois, has been awarded a $10,236,014 firm-fixed-price delivery order contract for hardware and software components. The contract provides for Hyper Converged Infrastructure Cloud Based Training Range hardware and software components, the combination of which is called a “POD,” essential to conduct hands-on training for cyber weapon systems initial qualification. Work will be performed at Joint Base San Antonio, Texas, and Hurlburt Field, Florida, and is expected to be complete by May 31, 2021. The award is the result of a competitive acquisition and three offers were received. Fiscal 2020 procurement funds in the amount of $10,236,000 will be obligated at the time of award.
Facing a pandemic and an aging legacy medical record system with limited data storage capacity at an on-premise data center in Charleston, South Carolina, the Enterprise Intelligence & Data Solutions (EIDS) team, sprang into action to complete a game-changing cloud migration project. The effort, called the Accelerated Migration Project, or AMP, moved petabytes of secondary healthcare data and related applications to the cloud. The project digitally transforms access to U.S. Defense Department medical records and offers better data analytics and more reliable information discovery, driving improved outcomes in patient care and business operations, experts say.
Accenture Federal Services LLC, Arlington, Virginia, has been awarded an $89,615,577 multiple-year firm-fixed-price contract action to sustain existing infrastructures and establish new cloud common infrastructure and services for Air Force enterprise resource planning: Air Force Integrated Personnel and Pay System, Defense Enterprise Accounting and Management System, and maintenance, repair and overhaul initiative. Work will be performed in Arlington, Virginia; Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio; Maxwell AFB-Gunter Annex, Alabama; Randolph AFB, Texas; and other locations as required. Work is expected to be completed by July 31, 2025. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition and 28 offers were received.
Carahsoft Technology, Reston, Virginia, was awarded a $29,837,009 firm-fixed-price contract for movement of the logistics modernization program to the cloud. Bids were solicited via the internet with 11 received. Work will be performed at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, with an estimated completion date of July 15, 2021. Fiscal 2020 other procurement (Army) funds in the amount of $29,837,009 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois, is the contracting activity (W52P1J-20-F-0419).
The U.S. Army’s near future will include an increased focus on adopting “zero trust” cybersecurity practices, better protecting its network endpoints and consolidating its plethora of cloud computing contracts, according to Lt. Gen. Bruce Crawford, the Army’s outgoing CIO/G-6. It also will likely include tightening defense budgets.
The general indicated during a keynote address for the Army’s virtual 2020 Signal Conference, which is hosted by AFCEA, that the 2021 fiscal year “is going to be all about driving on priorities.”
London-based UKCloud signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Crown Commercial Service to continue to deliver multi-cloud services to public sector organizations in the United Kingdom. The MOU will ensure that public sector organizations continue to have the benefit of choice and options of multi-cloud platforms alongside the more proprietary options available from the global cloud providers, the company stated in a release. The agreement also signals renewed support for the government’s Crown Campus, a secure datacenter operated as a joint venture between Ark Data Centers and the U.K. government.
Oracle America Inc., Reston, Virginia, has been awarded a $10,499,623 firm-fixed-price contract to provide software licenses, Oracle Service Cloud Hosting Services and maintenance in support of the myPers Customer Relationship Management software. The vendor will be required to provide 1,000 full software licenses for business process owners/administrators and 5,000 light software licenses for users requiring access to support customers. Work will be performed in Washington, D.C., and is expected to be completed May 31, 2021. Fiscal 2020 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $5,249,812 are being obligated at the time of award.
Innovative Defense Technologies LLC,* Arlington, Virginia, is awarded a $22,506,572 modification (P00007) to previously awarded cost-plus-fixed-fee contract N00014-19-C-1054 for the Cloud to Edge Environment. This modification adds Options 5 through 10, and exercises Options 5, 9 and 10, which increases the contract value by $22,506,572. Under this modification, the contractor will continue work to deliver a secure development and operations (SecDevOps) environment enabling cloud-based collaborative development, simulation, testing and certification of evolving Navy software systems. Work will be performed in Arlington, Virginia (68%); Mount Laurel, New Jersey (23%); Washington, D.C. (6%); Rhode Island (2%); and various places below 1%.
Officials at one of the U.S. Army’s premier research and development centers are exploring the possibility of adding a so-called data fabric to the service’s original tactical cloud system. The concept could improve interoperability, aid the convergence of intelligence and operations information and allow service leaders to completely rethink future Army operations.
Digital structures are needed to protect government information and operations. A group participating in a National Institute of Standards of Technology challenge is offering a secure cloud-based platform that can improve the digital and actual health of a city and protect its information.
With more U.S. Defense Department personnel working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is experiencing a surge in demand for its prototypical technology developed under the Cloud-Based Internet Isolation program and is seeking to more quickly deliver the technology to larger numbers of users.
Security is among the single greatest concern government agencies have about moving their systems to the cloud. Although it offers significant benefits, cloud computing continues to raise questions about data and system protection. Regardless, the Office of Management and Budget via its Cloud Smart Strategy and the previous Cloud First policy mandates government agencies move to the cloud.
“There’s a war out there, old friend. A world war. And it’s not about who’s got the most bullets. It’s about who controls the information. What we see and hear, how we work, what we think … it’s all about the information.” These lines are from the 1992 movie Sneakers, a film exploring the possibility of a decryption machine that could break any code, obliterating the ability to protect secrets. Nearly three decades later, the fictitious decoder still doesn’t exist, but the importance of data has grown exponentially.
The U.S. Army its transforming its Department of the Army’s Management Office-Cyber (DAMO-CY) to include a wider range of joint all-domain operations capabilities.
Col. Jay Chapman, USA, division chief, Mission Command, in the Army CIO/G-6 office, revealed the change at a February 13 luncheon event in Arlington, Virginia, hosted by the AFCEA Washington, D.C. chapter.
Cloud computing can quicken U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) efforts toward information dominance, but agencies must be measured and deliberate in the march toward the cloud.
The U.S. military relies heavily on companies to research, develop and manufacture innovative technologies to support missions. This hasn’t always been the case. A century ago, it was often the armed services that conceived and created the latest solutions. But when the world goes to war, it’s all hands on deck.
With unlimited resources, delving into fantastical technical solutions is easy. However, in the real world, the government and the private sector must solve real-life problems with realistic budgets. And today, both funds and available expertise are at a premium. Consequently, agencies must rely on companies they trust, and corporations only thrive when they invest in solutions likely to flourish in the future.
Between now and Valentine’s Day, the U.S. Defense Department will begin to build out its unclassified department-wide cloud platform, the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud, known as JEDI. And approximately six months after that, DOD will stand up its secret cloud environment, followed later by the top secret cloud, all part of JEDI, reported Dana Deasy, Defense Department chief information officer, at the AFCEA Nova Chapter’s Air Force IT Day in Arlington, Va., last Thursday.
The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) Cloud Based Internet Isolation prototyping effort is already eliminating cyber threats every day, says Angela Landress, who manages the program commonly known as CBII.
The program uses a little technological sleight of hand to keep non-secure Internet browsing in the secure Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud rather than on the Department of Defense Information Network (DODIN). “What comes back from the cloud is actually just a video-like representation of the webpage. There’s nothing executable in it,” Landress explains.
The U.S. Cyber Command selected Applied Insight's subsidiary Stratus Solution to provide a cloud platform to the command, according to the company. Under the contract, the company will support the comand's ability to adopt commercial cloud services and migrate its activities into the cloud, by use of the company’s cloud platform-as-a-service called Altitude. The company will support the command in developing and implementing a secure, flexible and scalable cloud platform, and overseeing its migration to the cloud and the ongoing operation of its cloud environment as it scales, a company officiael stated. The company will provide architecture design, implementation and operation, security acceleration, and cloud governance.
Milpatis, California-based Avocado Systems* received a $1.8 million Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program Phase II award from the U.S. Air Force to evaluate the company's ability to protect Air Force data centers and cloud systems, according to a company announcement. Through AFWERX, the award has the company evaluating Avocado's patented application security solution to secure enterprise level cloud and data center infrastructures. The company's Pico-Segmentation technology secures application, web and data tiers inside of clouds and data centers, a company official stated. *Small Business
U.S. Army officials expect in the coming weeks or months to release a data strategy that will be closely aligned with its existing cloud strategy and are also building an enterprise cloud office, according to Gregory Garcia, the Army’s deputy chief information officer/G-6 and chief data officer.
Garcia made the remarks during an address and fireside chat on the second morning of the AFCEA TechNet Augusta conference in Augusta, Georgia.
“We have a data strategy that’s going to be processed in the next weeks and months. That’s going to get after making sure data is visible, accessible, understandable and interoperable,” he said.
Officials from several federal agencies testified on Wednesday as to the effectiveness of the government’s cloud accreditation process, the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program, with mixed reviews. Most witnesses before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Reform’s Subcommittee on Government Operations hearing, entitled To the Cloud! The Cloudy Role of FedRAMP in IT Modernization, confirmed the positive benefits of the program.
On Friday, the Defense Department released its DOD Digital Modernization Strategy, aiming to greatly improve the military’s digital environment. The strategy aims to modernize the DOD’s joint information enterprise environment by advancing its fixed and mobile networking capabilities,; DOD-wide enterprise information technology (IT) services, coordinated technology refresh efforts, joint cybersecurity capability and access to data.
Innovative Defense Technologies,* Arlington, Virginia, is awarded a $12,972,431 option under a previously awarded cost-plus-fixed-fee contract N00014-19-C-1054 for the Cloud-to-Edge development under Small Business Innovative Research project in Phase III. With the exercise of this option, it brings the value of the contract to $13,001,964. Work will be performed at the contractor's facility in Arlington, Virginia, and work is expected to be completed June 28, 2024. Fiscal year 2019 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funds in the amount of $9,774,000 will be obligated at the time of award. No funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.
Lt. Gen. Bruce Crawford, USA, chief information officer/G-6, U.S. Army, suggests the possibility of an Internet of Strategic Things in addition to the Internet of Tactical Things.
“We’ve had some really good discussions about the Internet of Things. That was a thing a couple of years ago. And then we started talking about the Internet of Tactical Things. I think what’s on the horizon is more of a discussion of the Internet of Strategic Things,” Gen. Crawford told the audience on the second day of the AFCEA TechNet Cyber 2019 conference in Baltimore.
The Navy’s new Combat to Connect in 24 Hours (C2C24) is an ambitious program that has the potential to change naval warfare as we know it.
The program is designed to improve operational efficiency by automating the Navy’s risk management framework (RMF) efforts; providing sailors with near real-time access to critical data; and accelerating the Navy’s ability to deploy new applications in 24 hours rather than the typical 18 months.
Over the next five years, artificial intelligence (AI) will redefine what the U.S. federal government can achieve with technology. AI will help ensure our nation stays competitive, effectively serves its citizens and maintains safety for Americans at home and abroad.
In every recent discussion I have had with government and defense leaders around IT modernization, the conversation quickly leads to cloud and its role in enabling agile ways of working for government. Many agencies have already developed cloud migration targets and are looking at how they can accelerate cloud adoption.
Trident Juncture 2018, a large-scale NATO military exercise, wrapped up late last year. But in the weeks since, the alliance has been doing something it has never done before by using big data science to help inform lessons learned from the exercise.
Dell Marketing LP, Round Rock, Texas, was awarded an estimated $231,170,000 firm-fixed-price blanket purchase agreement (BPA) in accordance with the firm’s General Services Administration (GSA) Federal Supply Schedule contract. This agreement will provide VMware brand-name software licenses, software maintenance and services to the Department of the Navy (DON). The products will meet the following functional capabilities: data center and Cloud infrastructure; networking and security; storage and availability; Cloud management; network functions virtualization; digital workspace; desktop and application virtualization; and training.
Commercial cloud offers the federal government access to a dynamic computing environment almost immediately, with services or capabilities they may not have previously had access to during the time of having to purchase all of the hardware, software and infrastructure themselves. However, the roll out to the cloud for the government has not come quickly or easily, experts say.
The U.S. House of Representatives is examining the status of the Defense Department’s information technology, modernization efforts and strategic direction. The House Armed Forces Committee’s Subcommittee on Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities, led by ranking member Rep. James Langevin (D-R.I.), held a hearing on February 26, with top DOD IT leaders testifying.
Artificial intelligence, machine learning, advanced manufacturing, blockchain, 5G, the Internet of Things, quantum computing, data science, cloud computing and cybersecurity all have one thing in common: information.
Rear Adm. Boris Becker, USN, commander of the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center, made that point during a panel session at the AFCEA-USNI West 2019 Conference in San Diego. “It’s information in warfare and information as warfare,” he added.
Last year the U.S. Defense Department released a cyber strategy and followed that with posture review that identified more than 90 gaps in cybersecurity capabilities, many of which were determined to be critical shortcomings. This year, officials expect to begin implementing the strategy, beginning with several priority areas involving endpoint management, network visibility, user authentication and cyber force development, according to Brig. Gen. Dennis Crall, USMC, deputy principal cyber advisor, Office of the Secretary of Defense.
The cloud strategy document released this week by the U.S. Defense Department is drawing mixed reactions from industry and military officials. Experts welcome the strategy as an important step toward modernizing the department’s infrastructure but also express some concerns and note that many questions remain.
The U.S. Coast Guard is pursuing digital solutions to support its unique set of military, law enforcement, humanitarian, regulatory and diplomatic responsibilities. It is no small feat to provide information technology to its workforce of 87,570, as well as to its cutters, boats, and aircraft that move along the coastline and inland waterways protecting the United States.
A combination of artificial intelligence, machine learning, cloud computing, fifth-generation communications and agile software development processes may one day allow commanders to direct any asset from anywhere, essentially revolutionizing command and control.
During the recent AFCEA Alamo Chapter Event in San Antonio, several officials agreed that the current command and control (C2) center known as an air operations center (AOC) has grown too cumbersome and vulnerable for Air Force commanders to make the rapid-fire decisions required in the modern era of multi-domain operations.
When the Department of Defense (DOD) launched its Everything Over IP initiative nearly 10 years ago the focus was to bring traditional telecommunications technology—phone calls, streaming video and even faxes—to the digital world.
At that time, unified communications (UC), especially in the government workplace, was a relatively new concept. Remember, this was a time when voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phones were still seen as cutting edge. Now, though, UC has become not just a business tool, but a strategic offering that can connect employees in disparate locations, including the frontlines.
Heavy hitters in the commercial cloud industry, such as Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services, are pushing cloud-computing capabilities to what they refer to as the intelligent edge. They are connecting Internet of Things devices and mobile applications with ever-expanding cloud capabilities and the advanced computing of artificial intelligence to create a so-called intelligent cloud, pushing out the results of advanced processing and data analysis to a user’s fingertips.
The federal government’s comfort level with the cloud improves, due in part to standards and more offerings from commercial cloud providers.
Although it is already ubiquitous in the private sector, cloud computing has had a slow adoption by the federal government. That trend is shifting, an expert says, as the federal government, as well as state and local governments, employ more cloud computing.
The U.S. Transportation Command was the first U.S. Defense Department organization to begin moving its cyber capabilities, along with command and control applications, to a commercial cloud environment. More than a year later, the unified command is making strides in transferring its unclassified systems and is sharing lessons learned that will make the path to cloud usage smoother for others to follow.