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Hand in Hand: Montgomery's Military Bond

Montgomery Business Journal

Montgomery Business Journal

Gunter AFB --

Montgomery Business Journal (MBJ) asked Business & Enterprise Systems Program Executive Officer Richard Aldridge to share what’s currently fueling the growth at Gunter Annex.

Working from their kitchen tables and home offices across the River Region, and across the country, more than 100 Business and Enterprise Systems Product Innovation (BESPIN) team members have pivoted from in-person team collaboration at our downtown Montgomery offices to virtually distributed teams during the COVID-19 pandemic. They are resolving a wide range of issues, from poor-fitting flight equipment for female pilots, improving customer services on every Air Force base and improving informal communication at the Air Force Academy to revolutionizing cyber and Information Technology training and education for all airmen.

The latter is Digital University, an online technology skills platform that is free for airmen that went live in August and saw nearly 1,000 users in its first month of use.

The Mobile Delivery as a Service (MDaaS) team is working to ensure the security of Air Force mobile apps by implementing an application development pipeline. Having a fully provisioned environment decreases time for capability delivery to airmen. Most importantly, the MDaaS pipeline enables any airmen developer to build deployable applications, not just BESPIN personnel.

In the past year, we awarded the Small Business Enterprise Application Solutions, or SBEAS, Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity contract. This contract vehicle has a $13 billion ceiling and creates growth opportunities in the Montgomery area for small businesses who want a local presence to be closer to the programs a lot of their development will support.

We are also taking some new programs into the portfolio that will deliver modernized business systems for several Pentagon customers, including a publication management system that will help manage directives and instructions and more easily update or eliminate outdated policies, all with a goal of reducing overall documentation by 80 percent. We’ll be working on a modernized Inspector General system to improve unit readiness and reduce the time burden to conduct unit inspections. We’ll be improving a system that tracks the structural integrity of every plane in the Air Force fleet, improving modeling on items like crack growth on wings and increasing safety.

The Technical Services and Service Management Divisions implemented agile software techniques and tooling to automate and accelerate product deliveries to users with our Agile Delivery Strategy.

These new efforts are being driven by a three-fold strategy by the Air Force senior leaders – a shift to agile software development implementation of DevSecOps, migration to the Air Force cloud solution, Cloud One, and a transformation of the Air Force to a fully digital enterprise. One direct response to an increase in cloud technologies resulted in BES awarding a contract for cloud support services.

Like many other businesses, COVID-19 has forced our workforce to successfully adapt to working from home and to accomplishing their jobs with collaboration tools instead of face-to-face meetings and conferences. In a span of weeks, the Air Force increased the capacity of its virtual private network connections from 8,000 to more than 400,000. This increased technology set the stage for a successful virtual execution of August’s Air Force IT and Cyberpower Conference.