Pentagon to Award 9 Billion in Cloud Contracts in 2022

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The U.S defense department said Tuesday it plans to award up to 9 billion dollars in defense contracts in December 2022. The Joint Warfare Cloud Committee (JWCC) said they hope to have a multi cloud provider strategy rather than focusing on a sole entity. Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and Oracle were made aware of the plan in November 2021.

Pentagon Chief Information Officer, John Sherman said: “We’ve recognized that our schedule was maybe a little too ahead of what we thought, and that now we’re going to wrap up in the fall and we’re aiming to award in December.” Adding: “For my CIO seat, I’ve told the team we’re going to make sure we do this right… (we need to) take the time that they need, so we can stick the landing on this, given the imperative of what JWCC is for the Department of Defense.” The pentagon CIO was also quick to mention that just because a company was approached, and they submitted a proposal does not guarantee or improve their chances to be selected.

The Pentagon initially awarded JEDI, or Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure to Microsoft and the vision for the project was similar to JWCC and was taken away from the software giant last summer. The contract was terminated because former President Trump preferred a single provider for the project and the Biden administration cancelled that plan to offer a joint project to multiple entities.

CNBC reported in November that contracts would be given out on a 3-year basis plus a 2-year option. The deal gives the Department of Defense the ability to acquire an infinite number of cloud services for a certain period of time. Unclassified services are set to be released within 30 days of the contract being awarded and classified levels of service are to be released 60 to 180 days after awarded depending on the secrecy.

Kelly Fletcher, who previously served as senior executive performing the duties of the Department of Defense CIO the last 4 months of 2021, will become the principal deputy CIO. Former army member Ryan MacArthur, who worked on satellite communication systems for a decade became program manager in February. The DoD did not discuss McArthur role in his new position and the JWCC page online also does not discuss his role or position at the moment. It is likely he will aid the defence agencies in acquiring the cloud using the account tracking tool. This keeps track of the prices and services put forward by each contractor.