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Cyber talk
HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. - Col. Bill Polakowski, Cyber Integration Division deputy, speaks to attendees at the Hanscom Representatives Association meeting May 22 at the Minuteman Commons. Polakowski gave a presentation on “The Future of Cyber Acquisition at Hanscom and Lackland,” highlighting the need for flexibility in cyber acquisition, potential business opportunities and changes to the division. (U.S. Air Force photo by Linda LaBonte Britt)
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Speed of cyber focus of HRA meeting

Posted 5/24/2012   Updated 5/24/2012 Email story   Print story

    


by Patty Welsh
66th Air Base Group Public Affairs


5/24/2012 - HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. -- Flexibility with, and the future of, cyber acquisition was the emphasis of a presentation by Col. Bill Polakowski, Cyber Integration Division deputy, to the Hanscom Representatives Association May 22 at the Minuteman Commons.

"The message is cyber [acquisition] changes quite a bit each month as acquisition strategies, requirements and programs mature," he said. "It's changing at the speed of cyber - what I'm telling you now is current as of an hour ago."

Today's architecture is stovepiped with different applications providing different services and it needs to move toward core services, the colonel said.

"With a new architecture, we need a new understanding - ensuring contracts will be flexible," he said. "We need to look at how to respond to warfighters' ever-changing desires."

Highlighting the fact that cyber acquisition is very different than acquiring weapons or hardware, Polakowski said that currently his team might award a contract that delivers a capability every year, but the warfighter wants it delivered much faster.

Ideas the division is looking at include changing acquisition strategies to be more flexible, such as perhaps a system integrator contract where new requirements would be inserted into the cycle every six months or having options that could be exercised on the contract laid out from the start.

"We need creative approaches," he said, adding that they are not looking to stand up new large programs of record but instead sustainment or modernization activities.

While speaking about possible upcoming industry opportunities, Polakowski mentioned one way to improve efficiencies would be to look at third-party financing for base virtualization projects, such as electrical companies partnering with an information technology company for architecture modernization.

The colonel also spoke about upcoming changes to the division. He mentioned new programs that have been added to the portfolio such as Global Combat Support Systems and Enterprise Information Services, along with new sustainment workload. Air Force Directory Services is another project coming into the portfolio.

He also talked about organizational structure changes.

"We are going to have significant changes with the organization of the division," he said. "The requirements change so rapidly and we need to be able to adapt to deliver capability in the future."

Polakowski said that the current cyber branches that are located at Hanscom and at Lackland AFB, Texas, will be merged into one division, with the system program manager residing at Lackland. As of a couple weeks ago, Col. Christopher Kinne, the Cryptologic Systems Division chief, has been dual-hatted as both the Crypto and new Cyber Division chief as it stands up.

"Right now we are looking at the plans, procedures and our relationship with the 24th Air Force to see how to best operate under this new construct," Polakowski added.

Cyber defense branches that are currently under Special Programs will also become a part of the division. A new piece of the division to help with flexibility and creativity will be a Cyber Solutions Cell.

"The Cell will be a collaborative environment where we can take good ideas from the labs, from industry, from MITRE and operational users and look to see if it's a capability that can be rapidly transitioned into operational use," he said.

The colonel stressed that the cyber environment is constantly changing.

"It's a very dynamic environment," Polakowski said. "Operators keep asking for more situational awareness, more optimization, more virtualization, and we need to be more flexible to deliver that capability at the speed of cyber."



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