The Department of the Air Force is working to expand its partnerships in alignment with five key priorities, according to DAF Chief Architect Preston Dunlap.
DAF “sits at a wonderful nexus of being able to look at Space Force and Air Force programs – about $70 billion of airspace and cyber activities – with the fantastic task of being able to pull together an integrated architecture that allows our department to operate as a unified force, and then for each program to be able to have modularity and interoperability,” Dunlap explained.
Overseeing two services, the DAF achieves this integrated architecture and unification through industry partnerships, among other initiatives. During the Second Annual Air Force IT: Plans and Priorities Forum hosted by GovCon Wire Events, Dunlap outlined the priorities driving service partnerships today.
The first priority is building a website on reference architectures and standards that can be accessed by both the public and by the DAF. Currently, Dunlap said these architectures and standards are currently protected behind a myriad of different sites, share points and local drives, but the service is working to increase their accessibility.
“As we’ve worked with industry and even government partners, accessibility, or just knowing that they’re available and out there or maturing them across the community has been just very difficult,” Dunlap said.
The architect website, Dunlap noted, is currently live and has some initial material, but still needs work.
DAF is working to boost its modular open systems architecture initiative. The service is standing up a Space Force and Air Force architecture board to foster attention on and use of these systems, Dunlap said.
The service aims to elevate MOSA – a Defense Department-wide initiative put into motion in 2019 – from the program level to reach across systems and identify a community of architects that can implement the initiative across services.
Dunlap said that the DAF and its industry partners need more knowledge of each other. The service is conducting a lot of work in commercial space and commercial aircraft engine subcomponents, and more robust partnerships can help accelerate progress in these areas.
Adding New Talent
The service is hiring architects at its Washington, D.C. headquarters. Currently, the architect team is comprised of “a third military operators, a third acquisition professionals and a third technologists and engineers,” according to Dunlap.
Ready to Learn
Dunlap said he is open to outside perspectives on how to improve operations within the DAF.
“We don’t have the market order on all the good ideas, so we’d love to hear how we can better enable an agile Space Force and Air Force, get capabilities in faster, do things in order from an acquisition perspective and be secure all along the way,” he said.
You can hear Preston Dunlap’s full keynote address at the GovCon Wire Events page.
To learn more about the Air Force’s current priorities, initiatives, challenges and opportunities, join the Potomac Officers Club for its 2022 Air Force Forum on July 26.