Air Force Bids $95M Cloud Contract To Support Unified Cybersecurity Platform

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The service plans to pick 15 vendors to support the LevelUP program with cloud-based DevOps platforms.

The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center is putting together a blanket purchase agreement for 15 cloud vendors—large and small—to support one of the service’s experimental cybersecurity platform development teams.

The contract—with a potential total value of $95 million—will support the Air Force’s LevelUP program, which developed the Unified Platform tool to aggregate cybersecurity incident data into a single platform with visibility across the service, as well as with the other military branches.

Earlier this year, the LevelUP team launched two products.

“The first, LevelUP Cyber Works, is a ‘cyber factory’ that will develop and field new capabilities at the speed and scale required in today’s cyberspace operations environment,” according to information put out by Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. “The cyber factory is implementing a development, security and operations pipeline to test and certify applications for fast introduction to operations.”

“The second major LevelUP product is Unified Platform, a cyberspace operations system for future cyber mission force capabilities,” the post continues. “Unified Platform will allow all three services to pursue more advanced cyberspace operations techniques as a team, using a single platform.”

The cloud services acquired through the contract will be used as a secure DevOps platform for engineers to build, test and deploy new products on a variety of systems and architectures—including public, private and hybrid clouds—and at every classification and security level.

In order to meet these requirements, potential vendors will have to show their company can securely process data at impact level five—the second-highest security level for Defense Department systems—and access to facilities cleared at the secret level before being allowed to access the service’s classified information.

The statement of objectives clarifies that vendors do not need a secret-level cleared facility for the cloud environments, merely to access classified information. “Interim [facilities clearances] are acceptable provided they are not expired,” the documents state.

“The objective of this order is to obtain a secure, flexible, efficient, and cost effective commercial cloud service offering that enables scaling of infrastructure, application resources, IT capabilities and services to meet evolving application and user demand,” according to the statement of objectives.

The contract will have a five-year base period, with all task orders limited to a maximum of five years after the order period ends.

Bids are due by Oct. 16. Interested vendors must also ensure their company is registered in SAM.gov no later than Nov. 1.

Contracting officers plan to hold two “ask me anything” sessions before bids are due. The sessions are tentatively set for Sept. 25 and Oct. 3, though details are pending.