Air Force Folds IT Contracts into $8B Recompete: This Is IT

The Air Force has expanded the scope of an acquisition aimed at consolidating its expiring information sharing systems contracts, and with that expansion comes an $8-billion-to-$10-billion price tag, according to the Air Force’s notice to industry.

The Secretary of the Air Force Concepts, Development, and Management Office on June 2 posted an update to a February request seeking information on technical support related to its Mission Partner Environment. The MPE is an initiative that combines data from many sources to more efficiently share military operations information and intelligence with federal, state, local, and tribal government agencies; allied nations; nongovernmental organizations; private sector organizations; and other mission partners.

The update of the potential opportunity, which is called Mission Partner Command and Control (C2) and Intelligence Information Sharing Capabilities, expanded the scope based on industry feedback. That scope now includes additional IT and communications systems that support information sharing and warfighting capabilities, and includes:

  • Operations, maintenance, and sustainment of legacy systems;
  • Enterprise architecture and integration;
  • Enterprise transformation of a research environment handling classified information and reducing the number of existing systems;
  • Cybersecurity oversight and independent validation and verification; and
  • Additional combatant command and other stakeholder requirements.

The government cited three incumbent contracts that will be folded into the initiative, according to a questions and answers document released in February. The three contracts are:

  • General Dynamics Corp.’s Battlefield Information Collection and Exploitation Systems Extended (BICES-X) contract, which has received $404 million of a $5.3 billion ceiling.
  • Vykin Corp.’s MPE network engineering services for the combatant commands contract, which has received $47.4 million of a $385 million ceiling.
  • Trace Systems Inc.’s MPE-compatible support services and associated equipment contract, which has received $24.1 million of a potential $998 million.

Because the combined $6.7 billion ceiling value of those contracts is lower than the overall expected ceiling of this new opportunity and because the list of incumbent contracts wasn’t updated with the June announcement, it’s likely that the Air Force plans to incorporate additional contracts into the acquisition.

The incumbent contracts have different end dates, so those requirements will be transitioned to the new contract at different times, as they end. General Dynamics’ contract ends in June 2022. Vykin’s ends in August 2023, and Trace’s ends in September 2024.

RFI responses, which were due in March, asked for contractors’ experience with maintaining IT and/or communications networks, working with classified data, managing the software development lifecycle, risk management, system security, working with the Defense Department and intelligence community, and more. RFP responses will likely require similar past performance.

Security clearance requirements will be determined at the task-order level, but most employees will need a Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information clearance.

The RFI didn’t specify the number of expected awards, a period of performance, or whether a particular contract vehicle will be used for the acquisition.

The Air Force plans to issue a draft performance work statement in July. Within 45 days of the draft PWS, the Air Force plans to release a draft request for proposals and updated PWS. One-on-one meetings and one or more industry days are planned for August and September, and a final RFP should be available before Thanksgiving 2020.

BGOV clients can set up an alert on the opportunity page to receive an email about any updates to the acquisition.

To contact the analyst: Laura Criste in Salt Lake City, Utah, at lcriste@bgov.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Daniel Snyder at dsnyder@bgov.com; Jodie Morris at jmorris@bgov.com

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