HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – The Air Force is experimenting to find out whether giving Airmen access to industry-provided network service, customer service and device management will improve their user experience.
The Air Force reached an agreement for end user services to Unisys Corp. totaling $76.3 million on Feb. 27. The risk reduction effort will transform a limited number of bases to a commercially provided, as-a-service approach for information technology service management, enterprise service desk, and end user device management.
“This agreement will deliver standardized and innovative IT services to Airmen through modernized infrastructure with cloud services,” said Maj. Jonathan Demers, program manager for the effort with the Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence and Networks Program Executive Office here. “We’ll also stabilize services by instituting advances in technology that you are used to at home.”
For the experiment, the integrated program office here has worked with the major commands and Air Force leaders to select a group of bases representing a diverse range of mission capabilities and geographic locations.
For bases participating in the experiment, nearly every part of their daily interaction with the Air Force network will be touched. The experiment allows for shifting up to 20 bases to as-a-service IT models, with eight bases participating initially:
Buckley AFB, Colorado
Cannon AFB, New Mexico
Maxwell AFB, Alabama
Offutt AFB, Nebraska
Hurlburt Field, Florida
Pope Field, North Carolina
Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska
Spangdahlem AB, Germany
“The strategic intent is two-fold,” said William Marion, deputy chief information officer of the U.S. Air Force. “First, improve the IT user experience and mission effectiveness of our Airmen; and second, to focus less on running commodity IT services and more on our core competencies in the cyber warfighting domain.”
The EUS agreement is the second Enterprise IT-as-a-Service line of effort awarded. The first Network-as-a-Service agreement began in September 2018. Like NaaS, this agreement provides the flexibility and agility required to transform Air Force IT services and help validate the risk reduction effort currently underway, according to Demers.
The EUS experiment will begin in March 2019 and is expected to last up to three years. This experiment will help provide valuable information that will allow the AF to plan for full implementation of EITaaS to the entire Air Force.