Four nab infowar pact

The Air Force last week tagged four vendors under one of the Defense Department's most comprehensive information warfare contracts to begin building systems that will support the Pentagon's 21st century warfighting strategy.

Under the five-year, $353 million Engineering and Technical Support Services (ETSS) contract, Computer Sciences Corp., BTG Inc., Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. and MacAulay-Brown Inc. will provide the Air Force Information Warfare Center at Kelly Air Force Base, San Antonio, with engineering and technical support services spanning the gamut of information warfare (IW) requirements.

"We're in lock step [with DOD's future warfighting strategy], and that's the bottom line," said Col. James C. Massaro, commander of the Air Force Information Warfare Center.

"We're not in the lead because we're the best or...the smartest but because the Air Force saw the threat and decided to put the resources against it," he said. "The Air Force has put a healthy commitment against IW."

The contract includes services for systems and communications architecture planning; software development; intrusion detection; development of IW indications and warning methodologies; integration of IW concepts into existing country studies; database development and maintenance; systems integration and hardware procurement; World Wide Web site development; modeling and simulation support; interactive training courseware and services; and real-world operations support.

"Information operations has been declared one of the six Air Force core competencies, [and] it is the Air Force's intent to establish the Air Force Information Warfare Center as one of its centers of excellence for information operations," said Grover Jackson, a former Air Force brigadier general and now the information operations division chief for Science Applications International Corp.

John Davis, operations manager for CSC's Defense Group in San Antonio, said he does not believe the contract will involve large hardware buys that are typical with many contracts this size. Rather, ETSS will focus on "how to better use existing capabilities [and] how to capitalize on existing investments in communications infrastructure," he said. The goal "is to develop and demonstrate relevant and innovative information warfare concepts and technologies."

However, CSC pushed to have the contract include a Quick Reaction Capability functional area, Davis said. Given the increased tempo of operations and deployment rates for troops, the Quick Reaction provision will allow the CSC team to address the Air Force's contingency hardware and software task orders within 18 hours, Davis said.

The CSC team includes Oracle Corp., Science Applications International Corp., CACI Inc., Sterling Software Inc., TRW Inc., QIV Systems Inc., Command Technologies Inc., Demaco Inc. and QuesTech Inc.

Rob Kelly, vice president of BTG's Applied Systems Division, said BTG views the contract as a follow-on to much of the work the company has done for the Air Force over the past four years under the $10 million Information Warfare Center Mission Support contract. In the previous contract, BTG completed data correlation, data fusion, and modeling and simulation work for the Air Force. "This will broaden the scope of the previous work we've already done," Kelly said.

Kelly said BTG also will work on project "Sensor Web," which outfits the intelligence community's communications network known as Intelink with cutting-edge Web technologies. BTG began work on Sensor Web under an earlier contract and will continue work under the ETSS pact.

Teaming with BTG on ETSS are TASC Inc., Booz-Allen & Hamilton Inc., Lockheed Martin Corp., GTE Government Systems Corp., Cisco Systems Inc., Digital Equipment Corp. and Texas A&M University's Research Center.

John Pike, a defense and intelligence analyst with the Federation of American Scientists, said although there may be a classified contract that is bigger, the ETSS contract is one of the most comprehensive IW contracts on the street today. Furthermore, given DOD's future warfighting vision, which relies heavily on information operations, it is easy to understand why the Air Force is "grabbing the lead" in this area, Pike said.

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