New Air Force Business Plan Emphasizes Data, Cyber, Modernization

Air Force

The Air Force Business Plan, released by the service on Monday, places a strong emphasis on enhancing the Air Force’s IT and cybersecurity capabilities.

The plan includes a strong message on the Digital Air Force initiative from Under Secretary Matthew Donovan, who also serves as Chief Management Officer and CIO.

“This initiative will ensure our Airmen have uninterrupted access to the data they need, where and when they need it. This plan represents a path to achieving its goals,” he wrote.

The plan, which aligns with the National Defense Strategy, the National Defense Business Operations Plan, and the Air Force’s strategic focus areas, includes enhancing IT and cybersecurity capabilities as one of its strategic objectives.

“The expansion of threats in cyberspace from adversary nations, non-state terrorists, hackers, and criminal organizations poses new threats to military personnel, infrastructure, and equipment, demanding that the Air Force examine its information technology capabilities,” the plan notes.

Among the planned activities to reach this objective are efforts to:

  • Create a cyber analytics big data platform that aligns with other platforms at U.S. Cyber Command and the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA);
  • Develop Mission Defense Teams to defend installations from cyberattacks;
  • Develop remote data collection and processing capabilities to defend the Air Force Network;
  • Require program managers to account for the risk management framework before spending funds, and;
  • Mature processes to find enterprise risk across systems.

Another focus area for the plan is the use of data in Air Force operations. Donovan highlighted the appointment of a chief data officer (CDO) in his statement, and the plan praises the CDO Data Platform model. Going forward, the Air Force wants to:

  • Migrate that model to DoD’s Common Computing Environment to use cloud computing;
  • Make trusted data and their sources available across the enterprise;
  • Offer a platform to enable functional communities to use analytical tools; and
  • Upgrade all data environments to the Secure Internet Protocol Router Network level.

The plan also points to the success of the AFWERX innovation hubs, and emphasizes agile software development, and development of a business mission enterprise roadmap that includes implementing IT governance. The plan also emphasizes the need to modernize financial systems.

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