U.S. Transportation Command plans continued work in AWS cloud

Members of the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group offload equipment from a Mississippi Air National Guard C-17 at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, Ill., on Aug. 6, 2013, as part of Exercise Gateway Relief, a U.S. Transportation Command-directed earthquake-response scenario. (U.S. Air National Guard / Maj. Dale Greer/Released)

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The U.S. Transportation Command plans to stick with Amazon Web Services as its cloud service provider for at least the next few years, particularly as the Pentagon’s adoption of an enterprise cloud environment is held at bay.

TRANSCOM— the Department of Defense agency that manages the military transportation system — issued a request for information in search of “sources that possess the capability to utilize and maintain a number of software applications in an Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud service offering (CSO).”

“The objective of this task order will be to obtain a secure, flexible, efficient, and cost effective CSO that enables automation/scaling of infrastructure, application resources, IT capabilities or services to meet evolving applications and user demands,” the RFI says.

TRANSCOM has used AWS to host its information and applications up to the secret classified level since 2018 under a $13.9 million contract with ECS Federal as the managed service provider. The command issued a sole-source justification for AWS’s services in December 2017 — a move that Microsoft protested, before ultimately withdrawing its complaint “because the issues involved were resolved” to its satisfaction.

In 2017, the DOD designated TRANSCOM as a “pathfinder” for commercial cloud adoption across the department — meaning it would serve as a use case for other entities to learn from as it moved all of its systems to cloud. Around the same time, the development of the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) cloud took over the department’s focus.

Transportation Command’s AWS contract was set to expire last spring and the plan was to instead use the JEDI contract for its commercial cloud services. However, ongoing delays associated with the JEDI contract forced the command to issue a sole-source justification to extend its work with AWS.

That extended contract will run out at the end of July, but it appears now TRANSCOM will continue pursuing its own work with AWS. DOD awarded the JEDI contract to Microsoft last fall, but work is still held up by continued protests from AWS.

In procurement forecast documents released last month, TRANSCOM projected the value of the new AWS cloud contract at up to $25 million. It will run for a base year and two options years.

The eventual AWS reseller will need to be able to transfer existing accounts to its environment and create new ones. An ideal solution will also provide a “CSP Management Dashboard, third party management tools, application programming interfaces (API) level access to CSP services, and the ability to provision CSO infrastructure (compute, storage, and network),” the RFI says.

Responses to the RFI are due by May 7.

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Amazon Web Services (AWS), Cloud, Department of Defense (DOD), Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI), TRANSCOM, U.S. Transportation Command
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