By Benjamin Newell, 66th Air Base Group Public Affairs
/ Published March 07, 2019
Capt. Bryan Allebone (right), an instructor navigator and fulltime Air National Guard member assigned to the 238th Combat Training Squadron, does mission planning with other Offutt aircrew members Dec. 12, 2016 at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb. A select group of bases, including Offutt, will be participating in the end user services experiment to transform part of their information technology services, like cell phones and iPads, to an as-a-service approach. The experiment includes service desk functions, devices and underlying network infrastructure. (U.S. Air Force photo by Delanie Stafford)
HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – The Air Force is experimenting to find out whether giving Airmen access to industry-provided network service, customer service and device management will improve their user experience.
The Air Force reached an agreement for end user services to Unisys Corp. totaling $76.3 million on Feb. 27. The risk reduction effort will transform a limited number of bases to a commercially provided, as-a-service approach for information technology service management, enterprise service desk, and end user device management.
“The strategic intent is to focus on our core competency,” said William Marion, deputy chief information officer of the U.S. Air Force. “Our core competency is to ‘fly, fight, and win’ in air and space. It is not to run email servers or configure desktop devices.”
For the experiment, the integrated program office here has worked with the major commands and Air Force leaders to select a group of bases representing a diverse range of mission capabilities and geographic locations.
For bases participating in the experiment, nearly every part of their daily interaction with the Air Force network will be touched. The experiment allows for shifting up to 20 bases to as-a-service IT models, with eight bases participating initially:
Buckley AFB, Colorado
Cannon AFB, New Mexico
Maxwell AFB, Alabama
Offutt AFB, Nebraska
Hurlburt Field, Florida
Pope Field, North Carolina
Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska
Spangdahlem AB, Germany
“This agreement will deliver standardized, innovative, and agile IT services to Airmen through modernization of their infrastructure with resilient IT solutions and cloud services,” said Maj. Jonathan Demers, program manager for the effort with the Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence and Networks Program Executive Office here. “We’ll also stabilize services by instituting industry best practices and advances in technology that you are used to at home.”
The EUS agreement is the second Enterprise IT-as-a-Service line of effort awarded. The first Network-as-a-Service agreement began in September 2018. Like NaaS, this agreement provides the flexibility and agility required to transform Air Force IT services and help validate the risk reduction effort currently underway, according to Demers.
The EUS experiment will begin in March 2019 and is expected to last up to three years. This experiment will help provide valuable information that will allow the AF to plan for full implementation of EITaaS to the entire Air Force.