By K. Houston Waters
/ Published November 03, 2020
HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. (AFNS) -- The Department of Defense recognized multiple Hanscom Air Force Base teams and individuals for excellence in contracting, acquisitions and software development in October.
The Honorable Ellen Lord, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, announced the winners of the 2020 Defense Acquisition Workforce Awards, which included members of the Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence and Networks, or C3I&N, and the Digital Directorate, both headquartered at Hanscom AFB.
For C3I&N, the Cloud One and Platform One teams won both the Software Innovation Team Award and the David Packard Excellence in Acquisition Award.
“What an honor it’s been to lead this branch and this Cloud One team — I’m very proud of them,” said Lt. Col. Todd Watson, Enterprise Cloud Services materiel leader. “A capability of this magnitude takes a substantial amount of planning, organizing, finesse and a ton of smart, committed people, which Cloud One has in spades.”
Cloud One is a test, production and computing environment that securely supports 57 Air Force mission system applications. Watson anticipates that number to grow rapidly in the months ahead, as Cloud One is expected to expand services and cloud offerings across multiple security levels.
“I view Cloud One as a great enabler for not only the Air Force, but the greater DoD,” Watson said. “Partnerships are key and the work we’re doing across our sister services, with the Office of the Secretary of Defense, industry, and closer to home with the bright folks over in Platform One, is enabling even greater capability and innovation. I can’t wait to see what lies ahead for this team.”
Platform One hosts a secure platform that deploys mission code to the warfighter quickly and securely, enabling government-wide cross-functionality. Platform One operates 14 applications with DevSecOps reference architecture under the Air Force’s continuous Authority to Operate. Complete with associated tools and security, the platform provides software development infrastructure allowing DoD partners to write and deliver their own code and capabilities.
During the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Platform One team provided a solution to a dramatic increase in the demand for telework by developing and deploying a new digital application, Mattermost, in a matter of hours. Hundreds of Air Mobility Command aircrews still use Mattermost to plan their operations and chat in real time.
“We are humbled,” said Maj. Austen Bryan, Platform One operations officer. “I think it goes to show you how much you can accomplish as a small government team. It’s the great support that we’ve received that really enables us to be successful.”
“I couldn’t be more proud of our Cloud One and Platform One teams on this outstanding accomplishment,” said Maj. Gen. Michael Schmidt, C3I&N program executive officer. “This award represents excellence at the highest level. Winning it is true testament to their work ethic, resourcefulness and willingness to put the mission and the warfighter first.”
For Digital, Melissa Kennedy won the Individual Achievement Award for Services Acquisition for her contracting support of Air Force Life Cycle Management Center Detachment 12, also known as Kessel Run.
During the year, Kennedy awarded $80 million across five contracts for agile software development services, all of which were dedicated to delivering capabilities to Air Operations Centers at over 22 sites worldwide. Kennedy also awarded $35 million in service contracts for cloud and edge engineering support to the All Domain Common Platform.
“Kennedy’s delivery of service contracts allowed Kessel Run the ability to revamp the Air Operations Center master air attack plan software, which led to a nearly 75% reduction in planning and assessment time,” said Melissa DeLuca, Contracting Division technical director.
In addition to her contract work, Kennedy managed a $53 million Kessel Run cloud portfolio, which included overseeing a fifteen person multi-functional team, an effort that improved efficiency across Kessel Run and reduced the average contracting timeline by nearly 80%.
“Melissa’s innovative contracting approaches are exactly what we look for and encourage in the Digital Directorate,” said Steven Wert, Digital program executive officer. “This level of recognition is huge, and in Melissa’s case well deserved.”
The Defense Acquisition Workforce Individual Achievement Awards recognize individuals who demonstrate the highest levels of excellence and professionalism in their respective acquisition functional area.
Since 1997, the David Packard Excellence in Acquisition Award recognizes teams that demonstrate exemplary innovation and best practices in acquiring and delivering products and capabilities to the warfighter.
The Software Innovation Team Award, established in 2019, recognizes teams who are driving speed and innovation in continuous software development and acquisition as evidenced by frequent and high-quality delivery of software capabilities to warfighters.
The Defense Acquisition Workforce is composed of 181,000 civilian and military professionals from the Department of the Army, Department of the Navy, Department of the Air Force, defense agencies and field activities.