Air Force to issue Netcents RFP

The Air Force plans to issue a request for proposals this week on the multiyear, multibillon Network-Centric Solutions contract.

Officials expect the RFP to go out Jan. 30. The service wants to award Netcents contracts by Sept. 30, according to the project's program manager, Melva Strang.

The Air Force will award seven Netcents contracts: four to medium and large-sized vendors and three to small businesses. Before the new legislation, the service planned to award nine contracts: five to big vendors and four to small ones, Strang said.

Netcents, an indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract, covers five years and totals $10 billion. The Air Force wanted Netcents to run 10 years worth $20 billion, but new federal guidelines restrict IDIQ procurements to five years, Strang said.

The Defense Department's Chief Information Officer's office must approve the contract's requirements before the Air Force releases the Netcents RFP. The service considers DOD approval imminent, Strang said during a Jan. 28 telephone interview.

Netcents gives the Air Force a program to buy net-centric information technologies, networking equipment and services, and voice, video and data communications hardware and software. The service's Unified Local Area Network Architecture II, or ULANA II contract, expired last February, so it used the Navy's Voice, Video and Data, or Vivid, contract, Strang said.

The Air Force needs one contract to buy net-centric solutions. Netcents gives the service a contracting vehicle to do that, said John Gilligan, the service's chief information officer, during a Nov. 20 industry briefing.

The Air Force's Headquarters Standard Systems Group, located at Gunter Annex, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., oversees the Netcents procurement. HQ SSG will post the Netcents RFP on government new business Web sites and its site at: https://web1.ssg.gunter.af.mil/AFITC/NetCents/NetCents_default.asp.

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