Key Takeaways from the 2022 AFCEA NOVA Air Force IT Day

By: Rob Brady

AFCEA NOVA’s IT Days are routinely filled with great insights into agency priorities. December’s Air Force IT Day proved no different. Below are key takeaways for the year ahead with a focus on Data Analytics, Resilient Infrastructure, Automation, and Zero Trust to help define the role of IT in the future of Force.

Data-Based Insights will Empower the Warfighter of the Future. “Data as a strategic asset” was a repeated theme of this year’s event. Decision-making capabilities must keep pace with the “speed of need.” During the Architecture Panel, Maj Gen John Olson, USAF, and Mr. Thomas Sasala discussed how data analytics and automation will make this vision a reality. A focus on digital twin simulations demonstrated the importance of data solutions in identifying the sequence of events that occurs during a cyber-attack, or kill chain, in as close to real-time as possible.

The Department of the Air Force (DAF) is in Execution Mode. Referencing the Seven Organizational Imperatives identified by Secretary Frank Kendall, Chief Information Officer, Ms. Lauren Knausenberger, emphasized the importance of advancing IT within the agency as the Air Force executes its vision for the future of air and cyber dominance. Infrastructures must be resilient; data must enable decision-making in real-time; and across the board, industry must provide scalable solutions that lower existing technical debt and drive toward the goal of a disaggregated long-range kill web, allowing different systems and capabilities to operate independently while enabling military forces to locate, track, and engage enemy targets.

Collaborating to Build a Resilient Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS). The Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADCS2) panel drove home the point that streamlining people, processes, technology, and culture is imperative to building an operationally optimized ABMS. Consolidation will be required to build an increasingly integrated kill web across Military branches and substantial progress has already been made. During her keynote speech, Honorable Kristyn Jones discussed plans to consolidate over 150 systems in her IT portfolio and celebrated the 100th application developed for Cloud One, an enterprise cloud computing platform used by the U.S. Department of Defense.

The Digital Theater is the Future. During the closing Program Executive Officer (PEO) Panel it was clearly stated, “the next war will start before a single round is spent.” The DAF will identify partners with increasingly sophisticated offensive and defensive cyber capabilities. Defensive capabilities will be centered around a Zero-Trust framework relying on Identity, Credential, and Access Management (ICAM) solutions to secure a constantly changing global network, while offensive capabilities will focus on building and maintaining advantage through data fabrics; resiliency; and speed.

IntelliDyne has been honored to support the Department of Defense (DoD) for over 20 years and welcomes the opportunity to demonstrate how our mixture of innovation and proven experience will help the U.S. Air Force achieve its mission goals.

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