Top CAPEX Investment Areas in Air Force IT for FY21

By Toné Mason, DOD Senior Analyst

Capital expenditure funding is where new opportunities lie for IT spending. In this blog, I will cover the top 5 CAPEX-funded IT efforts the Air Force has slated for FY21:

(1) B-52 Defense Research and Engineering Network – Tinker | FY21 CAPEX: $135M

The B-52 Defense Research and Engineering Network program at Tinker Air Force Base is a relatively new program which received initial funding in FY20. With zero steady state/operation and maintenance funds allocated, this a good time to get involved with this program. The program is focused on providing a fast and efficient network connections for the B-52 engineering virtual desktop environment (VDI). Contractors with experience in network infrastructure, servers, storage, endpoints, workflow management, 5G and cybersecurity should consider this program. Read more of this post

Winners in the FY21 Defense Budget Request

By Toné Mason, Senior DOD Analyst

The President is requesting $705.4B in DOD funding for FY21, which is a modest 0.1% increase from FY20. The biggest winner by far is U.S. Space Force, but there are still plenty of opportunities across DOD and the services for IT vendors.

Announced in FY20, funding for Space Force in FY21 is largely focused on providing funding for the establishment of the organization as a whole. More details regarding metrics and objectives are anticipated to be further developed over the next few years. From what we know at this time, automation, infrastructure, cyber and data analytics are anticipated to be key areas of interest for them.

Here’s a summary of DOD budget highlights for FY21. Read more of this post

What’s the Future of NETCENTS-2 at Air Force?

Stephanie MeloniBy Stephanie Meloni, consultant

More details have begun to emerge about how the Air Force intends to fulfill procurement of products after NETCENTS-2 expires in November 2019. Recently, GSA blogged about the memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Air Force and GSA. This MOU outlines a partnership between the two organizations that will allow the Air Force to establish a blanket purchase agreement (BPA) from GSA’s IT Schedule 70. This will entirely replace NETCENTS-2 for products.

The biggest change affecting potential bidders of this contract will be the requirement to be on GSA IT Schedule 70, which can take some time. However, teaming between companies is allowed, so subcontracting may be an option if that is the case. Many of the other details remain the same—the BPA will still be mandatory, as NETCENTS-2 is, and the competition type remains full and open. The ceiling value of the IT Products BPA is anticipated to be slightly lower than the current ceiling of $5.5B over five years. The number of awardees could marginally exceed the twenty-five NETCENTS-2 products category awardees.

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What you need to know about changes at Air Force Space Command

Stephanie Meloni_65x85By Stephanie Meloni, consultant

More big changes may beOrbital view on Earth from space coming to the Department of Defense outside of CYBERCOM’s anticipated elevation to its own Combatant Command.

Late last month, the House Armed Services Committee voted to move forward with their own version of the FY18 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which would create a new military branch—the “Space Corps.” This would create a sixth military branch that would be solely responsible for combat in space.

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A peek inside the government’s cyber strategy

By Nick Mirabile, director of cybersecurity

It seems like every month there’s a new high-profile cyberattack wreaking havoc on our networks. Which is why we recently gathered three federal IT leaders to talk about cybersecurity and how they’re safeguarding their agencies in an era of emerging threats.

This panel discussion last month was fascinating, with success stories on what they’re doing to protect networks, as well as the biggest challenges for how to stay ahead of the threats. I picked up on a few themes important for companies selling cybersecurity solutions to agencies:

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One of the fastest growing IT trends at Air Force

By Stephanie Meloni, consultant

The Air Force has begun piloting agile methodology in some of its key programs, and we can expect to see this as a growing trend throughout the service and the rest of the Department of Defense, as agile methodology adoption picks up based on acquisition guidance.

The main theme of the AFCEA Montgomery IT Summit (MITS) was using agile development to help the Air Force make data-driven decisions. The service views its data as a strategic asset and leaders point to using data to facilitate decisions that will outsmart adversaries as part of the Third Offset Strategy.

The Program Executive Officer of the Business and Enterprise Systems (PEO BES) office, Rich Aldridge, kicked off the conference by speaking about the challenges that his organization faces when it comes to systems development, which has led the Air Force down the path of using agile development to counter cost, schedule and risk as a way forward.

Here are just a few key priorities the Air Force will be examining as it works to make its software systems more agile:

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Air Force Fine Tunes Its Cyber Policy

Stephanie Meloni_65x85cybersecurity_092816By Stephanie Meloni, Consultant

Two main themes emerged at the recent Air Force Information Technology and Cyberpower Conference (AFITC) that will affect future Air Force cyber activities: increased automation and further integration of cyber across all warfighting domains.

Air Force senior leaders gathered at AFITC in Alabama to discuss their vision for the future of cyber operations across the organization as the service evolves its cyber practices and discovers vulnerabilities in networks and weapon systems.

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3 Air Force IT Opportunities to Pursue

By Stephanie Meloni, Senior AnalystStephanie Meloni_65x85AF

If you listened to my Selling IT to the Air Force Webinar last week, you probably heard a recurring theme: Air Force is driving toward multi-domain operations. This means syncing operations between air, land, space, and cyber.

The good news is the service has the budget for it. The Air Force is actually one place in the Defense Department that’s had an increase in its FY17 IT budget request—3 percent higher from the FY16 enacted budget. There’s a jump in requested funding for both buckets of money—steady state (also known as OPEX) and DME (also known as CAPEX)—for acquisition of new capabilities, with about a $120 million jump for FY17.

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Future Operating Concept Creating Opportunities for Tech Companies

Air Force Graphic_240x138Stephanie Meloni_65x85By Stephanie Meloni, Senior Analyst

The Air Force is starting to shift IT priorities toward space, cyberspace, and C2ISR, which speaks to the service’s overall plan for future operations. The Air Force will want to achieve dominance across all domains in order to enable air superiority. This will be one of many topics covered during my one-hour Webinar on Air Force IT Sales Opportunities: Where to Aim High in FY17 on May 12.

The Air Force Future Operating Concept will depend on operating in a multi-domain environment. This means the Air Force wants to synchronize information coming from air, ground, intelligence, and especially cyberspace in order to get the full picture of what is happening across the warfighting domain.

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3 Ways Industry Can Help Government Cloud Adoption

Lloyd McCoy Jr.By Lloyd McCoy Jr., DOD Manager

If you attended our recent Cloud Briefing & GCloud Briefing 41216-3overnment Panel, you likely heard a recurring message from the federal leaders who spoke: They need help from industry.

Moving to the cloud has been a bigger challenge than expected as summed up by Office of the DOD CIO cloud lead Robert Vietmeyer, who spoke on our government panel: “This stuff is hard. Leadership is bought into your marketing pitch,” he told attendees, largely representing cloud providers. “We all want better, faster, cheaper. We just found it’s more difficult to get from where we are today to where we all want to be.”

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