Air Force awards $960 million in small business IT contracts

  • Published
  • By Jason Bishop
The Air Force is announcing the award of 12 contracts worth up to $960 million that will make it quicker and easier for the warfighter to obtain innovative information technology services and capabilities covering the full spectrum of operations and missions.

The Air Force's Network Centric Solutions-2 (NETCENTS-2) team awarded its Application Services Small Business Companion contract June 21. This is the first of two Application Services contracts that will be available for use by the Air Force. (The other is a full and open competition still in source selection). The contracts have an aggregate ceiling of $960 million with a three-year base ordering period and four 12-month options and are expected to be available for ordering in August 2012.

The multiple award indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (ID/IQ) contracts were awarded to 12 small businesses. The contract awardees are:

ActioNet, Inc. of Vienna, Va.; Array Information Technology Inc. of Greenbelt, Md.; Datum Software Inc. of Johns Creek, Ga.; Digital Management Inc. of Bethesda, Md.; Diligent Consulting Inc. of San Antonio, Texas; Diversified Technical Services Inc. of El Paso, Texas; DSD Laboratories Inc of Sudbury, Mass.; Exeter Government Services LLC of Gaithersburg, Md.; Excellus Solutions LLC of McLean, Va.; IndraSoft of Reston, Va.; Segue Technologies of Arlington, Va.; and SI Systems Technologies of Folsom, Calif.

"This mandatory contract is a significant opportunity for small businesses to support Air Force information technology requirements," said Denise Baylor, director of Small Business Programs for the Air Force's Program Executive Officer for Business and Enterprise Systems. "As a whole, the NETCENTS-2 strategy shows a commitment to maintaining a viable small business industrial base for future Air Force needs."

The NETCENTS-2 Application Services acquisition provides a vehicle for customers to access a wide range of services such as sustainment, migration, integration, training, help desk support, testing and operational support. Other services include, but are not limited to, exposing data from Authoritative Data Sources to support web-services or Service Oriented Architecture constructs in Air Force enterprise environments.

The services and solutions delivered under NETCENTS-2 in support of Air Force operations will be subject to the oversight of an Air Force enterprise level governance structure and set of processes. The governance processes will employ systems engineering fundamentals, ensure adherence to the Air Force Enterprise Architecture and be implemented along with the normal reviews in the acquisition process. Further clarification of the governance structure is explained in the Application Services User's Guide.

The Application Services contract is mandatory for Air Force use; however, use of the contract may be available to Department of Defense and other federal agencies when it is related to requirements for interoperability with Air Force capabilities, supports Air Force IT infrastructure, applications or operations, supports host-tenant arrangements involving Air Force units, or is in support of joint operations and solutions.

Although the Application Services contracts will be managed by the NETCENTS-2 team at Maxwell AFB-Gunter Annex, Ala., delivery orders against the contracts will be placed by contracting officers in the requiring agencies. Additional information on the use of the NETCENTS-2 contracts will be distributed to Air Force contracting officers and through major command and reporting unit directors of communications and information as the contracts are made available for ordering.

The Application Services contracts are one of seven sets of NETCENTS-2 ID/IQ contracts that include systems sustainment and development, migration, integration and netcentric data services. These contracts replace and add to the Air Force's existing NETCENTS contracts. Their combined ceiling is $24.2 billion, of which $11 billion will be available to small businesses through small business-only competitions and small business subcontracting requirements. Once fully awarded, the NETCENTS-2 contracts will be the Air Force's primary source of netcentric and IT products, services and solutions.

The other NETCENTS-2 categories are:

1. Enterprise Integration and Service Management (EISM) (awarded November 2010) which provides the Air Force with strategic consulting and support for enterprise-level information technology management using non-personal Advisory and Assistance Services (A&AS) contracts;

2. Network Operations and Infrastructure Solutions (NetOps) and Infrastructure Solutions (includes two separate contracts currently in source selection) which will provide network management and defense, service oriented architecture infrastructure, enterprise level security and management and implementation and operations;

3. Netcentric Products (in source selection) which provides a full range of innovative, competitively-priced, world-class netcentric IT products to support the full spectrum of netcentric operations and missions.

4. IT Professional Support and Engineering Services (solicitation not yet released) which includes IT program management support and engineering services.

5. Application Services (full and open; in source selection) which provides a vehicle for customers to access a wide range of services such as sustainment, migration, integration, training, help desk support, testing and operational support.