17th Annual Air Force IT Day

Published: December 13, 2018

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The Armed Forces Communications & Electronics Association – Northern Virginia (AFCEA NOVA) held their 17th Annual Air Force IT Day on December 4, 2018 in Tysons Corner, Virginia.  The theme for the conference was “Agile and Connected Multi-Domain Capability to the Warfighter”, with the discussion surrounding the SECAF and CSAF’s vision for multi-domain operations and the resulting demand for Air Force IT and cyber.

The opening keynote speaker, Mr. Bill Marion, Deputy Chief, Information Dominance and Deputy Chief Information Officer stated that there are 4 priorities the Air Force is focusing on:

  1. Focusing on the network need and using OTA’s to fulfill the need
  2. Cybersecurity that works and is not just compliant
  3. Vibrant and ready cyber airmen
  4. Empowering mission transformation

Mr. Steven Wert, SES, Program Executive Officer Digital (formerly PEO Battle Management) stated, “Agility is first and foremost a function of speed. The ability to fix an issue, add a feature, or change priorities rapidly as the threat or environment changes increases readiness posture and provides options that slow cannot”.

In addition, he noted that there are 2 goals for the Digital Directorate, and emphasized Goal #2 in particular as being needed to be more agile.

  • Goal #1: Plan and execute extremely well, achieve 85% on time or early for planned critical events in FY19 to build the trust and confidence of stakeholders
  • Goals #2: Speed and innovation: a majority of programs in FY19 to include innovative approaches to speed up getting capabilities to the warfighter

Mr. Wert also provided a sneak peek into 5 opportunities that will be also be addressed during the New Horizons Conference which will be held March 5-6, 2019 in Boston, MA.

The 5 opportunities were:

  • Technology Application Dev & Sustainment (TADS) (Opp ID: 151660)
    • RFP expected in January 2019
  • Air Vehicle Planning System VI (APS VI) (Opp ID: 109966)
    • RFP expected in February 2019
  • Enterprise Support Provider (ESP) (Opp ID: 150975)
    • RFP expected in June 2019
  • AWACS Block 40/45 Performance Based Logistics (Opp ID: 140740)
    • RFP expected in April 2019
  • Combat Survivor Evader Locater (Opp ID: 122642)
    • Industry Day expected in February 2019
    • Draft expected in August 2019
    • RFP expected in November 2019

A panel regarding, Transformation in Air Force Software Development, included the following speakers:

  • Col Enrique Oti, USAF Director, Kessel Run, AFLCMC/HBH
  • Col Michael McGinley, USAF Director, DIU Boston & Defense Engagement, DIU    
  • Moderated by: Noah Firth, USAF Air Force Digital Service, Department of Defense

The panelists discussed how OTA’s are being used to help with the speed of acquisitions. In addition they discussed the focus for the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU), which includes:

  • Space
  • Timing
  • Cyber
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Human Systems

 

Ms. Susan Thornton - Director for Information Dominance Programs, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition - stated that in order to have a faster and smarter acquisition process, the Air Force is looking at acquisition methods such Other Transaction Authority (OTA) agreements, Government Purchase Card transactions, and helping small businesses.  In order to help the small businesses, the Air Force will be holding a “Pitch Day” (which was mentioned by many of the speakers throughout the day).  The “Pitch Day” will be held in New York City on March 6-7, 2019. The goal behind the event is to have small businesses “pitch” their ideas and innovation to a team of Air Force personnel, who are anticipated to award contracts the same day.