JWCC secret-level offerings coming in a few weeks: Official

JWCC secret-level offerings coming in a few weeks: Official
Cloud computing

Cloud technology concept (Getty images)

WASHINGTON — The Defense Department is planning to release secret-level bid offerings to four vendors under its Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability (JWCC) contract in the coming weeks, according to a defense official. 

Sharon Woods, director of the Defense Information Systems Agency’s Hosting and Compute Center, said on Tuesday that the secret level offerings are a key capability and top secret-level offerings will come in the summer.

“That’s a capability we really don’t have in the department — an enterprise top secret cloud environment,” Woods said during a Defense One event. “You know, the intelligence community does, but the department…is not able to leverage that contract and so that is one of those capability gaps that JWCC is meeting.”

In December, Google, Microsoft, Oracle and Amazon Web Services were awarded a piece of the multi-cloud JWCC contract that spans all classification levels after the department scrapped the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract. The secret-level bid offerings will allow each of the four companies to see what the DoD is seeking and make their best offer, from which the department will pick its favorites.

Separately, the first set of task orders under JWCC are also close to being awarded, with Woods stating that they’re “in the pipeline.” Defense Chief Information Officer John Sherman previously said those first task orders would be awarded sometime this fiscal quarter.

Sherman told Breaking Defense in January that he would be signing out new guidance on JWCC in an effort to ensure getting the best mission outcome and value for its dollar, calling it “cloud rationalization.”

“I’m not gonna do anything capriciously or just with a sledgehammer here,” Sherman said Jan. 27. “This will be with a surgical knife about where things need to go, and…if I was my boss, I would expect the CIO to be doing this and make sure the government is getting the best value for our dollar and the very best mission outcome. And that’s why rather than just let this kind of run on autopilot, there is going to be some guidance about how this works.”

While the military services have their own individual ongoing cloud efforts, DoD still wants JWCC to be an option and serve as the foundation for Joint All Domain Command and Control, the Pentagon’s effort to connect sensors to shooters across land, sea, air, space and cyberspace domains.

Woods said DoD is looking at whether JWCC offerings can fuel the individual military services’ cloud efforts.

“But separate from that…they’re creating their own environments, their own production environments, they’re layering on DevSecOps and tactical edge capabilities in a number of things,” Woods said. “There’s nothing about JWCC that stops them from doing that.”