18th Annual Air Force IT Day

Published: December 23, 2019

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The Northern Virginia branch of the Armed Forces Communications & Electronics Association (AFCEA NOVA) held their 18th Annual Air Force IT Day on December 12, 2019 in Arlington, Virginia.  The theme for the conference was “The Digital Transformation of Air, Space, and Cyber”, 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 Officer, stated that today’s Air Force requires a 21st Century Digital Infrastructure such as EITaaS.  EITaaS will improve the user experience, accelerate MDT fielding, and provide a critical foundation for JADC2 (Joint All Domain Command & Control). 

The Honorable Dana Deasy, DoD’s Chief Information Officer, discussed digital modernization, specifically with respect to cyber, C3, AI and cloud. An example he cited was the JEDI program (Opp ID: 165724), which will serve as DoD’s department-wide commercial IaaS and PaaS environment. While a protest of the JEDI award was filed circa November 14, 2019, the government held a kickoff meeting with the presumptive awardee (Microsoft) to officially begin building out the environment. The government plans to have the Unclassified environment built out by mid-February, followed by the Secret environment approximately 6 months later.  The Top Secret portion will be established sometime thereafter.

Additionally, Mr. Deasy, stated it hopes to move forward in the next month with respect to the Defense Enterprise Office Solution (or DEOS) contract (Opp ID: 129639). The Contracting Office undertook and has been working through corrective action following protests that were filed in September 2019.

Colonel Enrique Oti, Director of Kessel Run, stated that LevelUP and Kessel Run are 2 of Air Force’s software factories expected to use Cloud One (Opp ID: 127489). Cloud One will be Air Force’s commercial cloud environment.

Mr. Stephen Wert, PEO of AFLCMC’s Digital Directorate, noted that Kessel Run was the start of a revolution of Software Factories that now number 6 across the Air Force. They are as follows:

  • BESPIN, PEO/BES, Montgomery
  • Level Up, PEO/C3I&N, San Antonio
  • Space Camp, SMC, Colorado Springs
  • Kobyashi Maru (Surf Camp), SMC, West Coast
  • Rogue Blue, PEO/Digital, Offutt AFB
  • Software Engineering Groups out of Hill, Robins, and Tinker

In addition, Mr. Wert noted several ways the Air Force is continuing to change.

  • Outside Influences – DIB, DDS, DIU AFWERX, AFWIC, and others
  • Unprecedented delegation of authority
  • Changing strategies – Agile DevOps, rapid prototyping, design agent, the concept of an MVP and incremental funding.
  • Working with accelerators and start-ups and having AF Pitch Days
  • Technology – automation, emulation, commercial tools, MI/AI, etc.
  • New partnerships – Northeastern University, Mass Challenge
  • DoD 5000.02 is being re-written – DAU revising training
  • AF leadership demanding speed, innovation, and technology.