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The Pentagon reveals the future of JEDI cloud computing contracts in the coming weeks

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Washington-as the Pentagon tweet whether to abandon the so-called JEDI Cloud Computing Contract Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks said Monday that it was potentially worth $ 10 billion and would make the following decisions within a month or so.

“We are currently very aggressively considering our options and are well aware of our needs. [are], And we are looking at what the potential solution is, “Hicks said at the Defense One conference. “We will move in the direction of next month or so, but I’m not going to go where we might end up.”

The Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud contracts for Pentagon-wide use are as follows: Awarded to Microsoft, But it has been Suffering from legal objections.. Hicks, the Pentagon’s second private sector, said the issue could not be discussed in detail as the proceedings over the Jedi deal continue.

Hicks said that Pentagon’s core joint combat strategy, joint all-domain command and control, depends on the implementation of cloud computing, and uses technology at the “meeting room” level for internal audit and We acknowledged that efficiency measurement such as inventory management will be possible.

“There is no doubt that we need a way to move forward in the cloud,” Hicks said.

The comment came when Pentagon officials were pitching a $ 715 billion defense budget to Capitol Hill, which emphasized technology development and sale from legacy platforms. The budget reflects progress, despite the government’s renewal of its defense strategy to direct future modernization efforts.

Within the Pentagon, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has approved some analysis of joint concepts that are expected to inform future investments. At the same time, the Pentagon has launched a new program called Rapid Defense Experimentation Reserve, using the acronym RDER, pronounced “Raider,” which Hicks first mentioned on Monday.

“Competing for RDER requires the involvement of multiple components. We need to be tied to where we are heading in a joint concept. Advance some of these concepts ahead of our defense strategy. I hope we can let you do it. It’s a feature we want to see, “Hicks said. “We are moving from rhetoric to reality and from concept to ability.”

According to Hicks, the new AI and Data Accelerator Initiative will explore how teams visit each combatant command to connect artificial intelligence and data sharing to operations “at the tactical edge that supports fighters.” This effort also includes a team of technical experts.

As part of JADC2’s efforts, Hicks is in the process of renewing the requirements of its weapons platform and its manufacturers, allowing the Pentagon to collect more data and share it across different platforms. I admitted that.

“The ability to share data is an important factor in how we think about future decision-making advantages and how we work with our industry partners,” Hicks said.

To find a new way to compete with Silicon Valley for technical talent, Hicks has set up a Deputy Labor Council to raise the “human problem” to the highest level of the Pentagon. When the Pentagon is considering a fluid and flexible arrangement between military service and the private sector, one question is which of the several ongoing pilot programs is appropriate to scale up. is.

“For example, the ability to incorporate private sector expertise to reinforce what is happening in the National Guard and the military and create its transparency and liquidity with the private sector is a good example. “The Space Force is considering developing talent in the reserve,” Hicks said.

Asked how the Pentagon wants to compete with China, which allows it to move faster with a civil-military model, Hicks said the United States “coordinates” between the US and its allies’ private sector and research institutes. He said that “confusion” should be adopted.

“We play a very important role in seeding the foundations of our research and science and technology, especially in some exquisite areas, but in many areas we need it. , A good customer that the ecosystem wants to work with. It can be confusing. [state-controlled] You can create a model that the Chinese are pursuing, “Hicks said.

While some lawmakers helped defend the systems associated with local work, Hicks said it was always more difficult to claim potential future capabilities than existing ones. She said the Pentagon could provide evidence of the vulnerability of certain systems to Russia’s and China’s capabilities, as well as the large maintenance costs associated with other systems.

“We are part of an administration aimed at bringing manufacturing jobs to the United States. We are all aimed at securing the supply chain in and beyond the field of national security. “Hicks said. “As we are beginning to look at future capabilities and types of workforce, the Pentagon has many opportunities … we really want to embrace and produce here in the United States.”

Andrew Eversden, a C4 ISRNET reporter, contributed to this report.

Joe Gould is a Parliamentary reporter for Defense News.

The Pentagon reveals the future of JEDI cloud computing contracts in the coming weeks

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