Science and Exploration

Industry Ideas Essential for Air Force IT Changes: Vice-Commander

By Elizabeth Howell
April 16, 2012
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Industry Ideas Essential for Air Force IT Changes: Vice-Commander
Lt. Gen. Michael J. Basla, USAF

A vice-commander with the United States Air Force Space Command outlined cybersecurity opportunities for industry at a speech Monday at the 28th National Space Symposium being held this week in Colorado Springs.
Lt.-Gen. Michael Basla’s opening session drew a parallel between the need for the Air Force to save money, and the chance for industry to provide systems that will be more efficient in the long run for the military.

“Cyberspace is a part of every war-fight mission we are in,” he said, pointing to the need to rapidly add and subtract capabilities in real time as circumstances dictate.

Areas of opportunities for contractors include:

– Reducing Air Force gateways into its servers to 16 from 100
– Unified communications
– Eliminating duplication in IT applications
– Leasing on commercial satellite communications channels

In 2011, the Air Force outlined means of saving $1.2 billion in the following five years through consolidating data centers, optimizing networks, selecting one application to use across various similar systems, and other changes.

A quarter of the Air Force’s IT spending goes into computer systems, according to Information Week, with the rest spent on weapons systems that each have their own parameters and are difficult to get to work together.

The Air Force is working on ways to better manage these myriad systems through aerial networking – by providing a layer of integration between surface and space assets. This is supposed to be finished by 2024, according to a press release from last year.

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