Cloud Solution Enhances Warfighter Activity Planning
SAIC helps Air Force deploy master exercise calendar to Cloud One for reliable hosting and accessibility
A years-long software development and systems integration effort by SAIC has yielded a secure, cloud-based, secret-level calendar for the U.S. Air Force that helps optimize force generation by facilitating comprehensive exercise planning and training.
In early 2017, Air Force A3 (deputy chief of staff for operations) asked the Air Force Operational Training Infrastructure Division to create a master exercise calendar (MEC) that would provide a complete picture of Air Force exercises, facilitate exercise prioritization and help Air Force leadership identify and better manage white space.
White space, or downtime, is an important component of force generation. Too much of it could mean that a unit is not maximizing the time it has to prepare for deployment. Not enough of it may indicate that a unit is working when it should be recharging. By providing greater scheduling visibility, a master calendar helps leadership manage white space and balance the energy and output of its people.
The first version of the MEC achieved initial operational capacity in August 2019 and was hosted on SIPRNET by the 96th Cyberspace Test Group at Eglin Air Force Base. However, as additional versions of the MEC were rolled out, SAIC’s project team identified a handful of issues that made improvements difficult, including limited access, frequent account expirations and unexpected network downtime. In early 2020, the team began work on deploying the MEC to the cloud in order to resolve those issues.
Several cloud options were considered. Cloud One emerged as the best option because it was reasonably priced and can support all hosting needs, including NIPRNET- and SIPRNET-based development, testing and production.
The project team began developing the secret, or IL6-level, test and production environments in April 2022. The MEC deployed live to Cloud One at IL6 in late June 2023.
Although the MEC was originally envisioned as an exercise calendar, it has grown into a master event calendar that can track any type of activity a unit supports, including local training events, inspections and evaluations, deployments and even airshows. As a result, it is a valuable tool for managing a unit’s activities.
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