HomeNewsArticle Display

Hanscom takes next step on Enterprise IT

Senior Airman Alexander Schrichte, 460th Space Communications Squadron client systems technician, performs routine technical checks on network servers, Nov. 9, 2018 at Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. Buckley AFB was handpicked alongside of six other bases to pilot a new program called Network As A Service, or NAAS, which benchmarks the way cyber deterrence in the U.S. Air force is accomplished across the globe. Airmen belonging to the 460th Space Communication Squadron will no longer be limited to fixing technical issues, they will be defending our nation from cyber attacks.
(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Michael D. Mathews)

Senior Airman Alexander Schrichte, 460th Space Communications Squadron client systems technician, performs routine technical checks on network servers, Nov. 9, 2018, at Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center officials at Hanscom AFB, Mass., awarded a Compute and Store other transaction agreement June 21 which should allow Airmen currently assigned to manage data centers the ability to concentrate instead on cyber-focused mission assurance. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Michael D. Mathews)

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – Air Force Life Cycle Management officials here awarded a $66 million “Compute and Store” other transaction agreement to Accenture on June 21 for IT as-a-Service risk reduction experiments.

The experiments will provide hosting solutions for on-premises and cloud applications, as well as a disconnected-state capability to meet unique base-level missions. This work should also allow Airmen currently assigned to manage data centers the ability to concentrate instead on cyber-focused mission assurance.

This is the third agreement awarded under the Air Force Enterprise IT as-a-Service Risk Reduction Phase; previous ones were for Network as a Service and End-User Services.

“These risk reduction experiments will allow us to see what the commercial industry can do for us in terms of bringing the network, end-user services and compute-and-store performance we expect, while maintaining the security we need, at a price we can afford,” said Brig. Gen. Michael Schmidt, program executive officer for Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence and Networks.

The new agreement authorizes experiments on six bases varying in mission sets, location and size. The team chose bases following input from major commands, but while balancing experiment locations against overall need. The bases where the work will take place are Buckley Air Force Base in Colorado, Cannon Air Force Base in New Mexico, Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska, Hurlburt Field in Florida, Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base in Alabama and Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska. The compute-and-store experiments should begin this month and last for approximately three years.

“This represents another fundamental milestone on our journey to a fully digital Air Force,” said William Marion, Air Force deputy chief information officer. “These efforts shape the future of our IT Enterprise initiatives, but most importantly, they empower our Airmen with the right mission tools. In this case, we’re extending edge computing to enable a data- and AI-driven environment as well as an enriched mission experience.”

Team personnel say using the OTA for this effort allowed flexibility and agility, enabling them to award in just four months. The agreement marks another step forward in the Air Force’s EITaaS program, working toward the objective of delivering secure, cost-effective and dynamic capabilities that are not only innovative and modernized, but also meet rapidly changing Department of Defense IT service needs. The ultimate goal is to evolve and improve performance and quality of service over time as industry best practices and standards advance.

“The EITaaS Risk Reduction team continues to knock it out of the park,” said Schmidt. “I’m convinced the metrics and lessons learned from these risk reduction activities will allow the Air Force to deliver an EITaaS solution, Air Force-wide, that provides our Airmen the user experience they deserve and need to remain the best Air Force in the world, while freeing up some of our most precious resources – our Airmen – to pivot toward more operational needs.”

Editor’s note: Patty Welsh, 66th Air Base Group Public Affairs, contributed to this article.