Space Force satellite communications contract gets nod for CMMC

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The Space Force has nominated a new commercial satellite communications contract to be part of the Defense Department's pilot for its unified cybersecurity standard for contractors, the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification program.

A request for information for the Inmarsat Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) and Global Xpress (GX) contract was amended March 31 to include requirements for the CMMC program so it "explains and incorporates CMMC requirements that will apply to the procurement."

The RFI, which the Defense Information Systems Agency is leading on behalf of the Commercial Satellite Communications Office at Space Force, also states that the goal is to award separate contract vehicles for BGAN and GX offerings. Early respondents to the original RFI will need to submit an updated response by April 8.

"To be eligible for award, offeror is responsible for contracting with an authorized [CMMC Third Party Assessment Organizations] to support a CMMC assessment for the required CMMC Level certification," the updated notice states.

The notice also mentioned that the CMMC Accreditation Body, which governs CMMC's implementation, will designate C3PAOs on its website by June.

Since no CMMC certification is currently available, vendors are "encouraged to complete a self-assessment based on CMMC Assessment Guides," the solicitation states

The changes come as the CMMC AB moves to stand up the training ecosystem, from course materials to individual assessors to assessing organizations, needed to implement the CMMC program.

Ben Tchoubineh, chair for the training committee, said during a recent Town Hall that there are 109 approved C3PAOs and 100 approved provisional assessors.

However, no organization can begin assessing until it has become certified at CMMC Level 3. So far, only one organization has completed that necessary assessment.

DOD is expected to release several pilot contracts that include CMMC requirements later this year as part of the first major push to implement the program. Over time, CMMC will be a prerequisite for all DOD contracts.

About the Author

Lauren C. Williams is senior editor for FCW and Defense Systems, covering defense and cybersecurity.

Prior to joining FCW, Williams was the tech reporter for ThinkProgress, where she covered everything from internet culture to national security issues. In past positions, Williams covered health care, politics and crime for various publications, including The Seattle Times.

Williams graduated with a master's in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park and a bachelor's in dietetics from the University of Delaware. She can be contacted at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter @lalaurenista.

Click here for previous articles by Wiliams.


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