With the Pentagon’s first enterprise cloud contract underway, the Department of Defense’s top IT officer wants to move even faster to start getting capabilities to warfighters.
The Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability (JWCC), which was awarded in December, is the DOD’s highly anticipated $9 billion enterprise cloud effort that replaced the maligned Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) program. Google, Oracle, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft were all awarded under the contract and will each compete for task orders.
“I want to keep moving even more so than we are on JWCC,” Pentagon Chief Information Officer John Sherman said Thursday during a keynote at DefenseTalks, hosted by DefenseScoop, describing the cloud initiative as an enterprise capability that the department never had before.
Sherman said that a few task orders have been awarded already with three dozen in the works. But he wants to see secret and especially top secret capabilities come online. For the top secret ones in particular, he described the forthcoming setup as a first for the DOD.
“Heretofore, we’ve had to work through the [intelligence community] through commercial cloud enterprise and that set of contracts to get that done,” Sherman said.
Moreover, these tools will be critical for forces operating in the tactical elements of the battlefield and give them greater capabilities for sharing data and connectivity.
“I am so excited about what JWCC brings from [outside the continental U.S.] and the edge,” Sherman said. “Conflict with China is neither inevitable nor desirable and I want to emphasize that. [But] because we will look at what our forces might have to do inside a second island chain in the western Pacific as a Marine littoral regiment and that stand-in force … they [have] got to be able to have capabilities, compute, transport and so on, that works and is going to be there for them. That’s what JWCC is going to help bring to them.”