The Defense Intelligence Agency awarded a potential eight-year contract in mid-November to support the modernization of the wide area network for the Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System, Federal News Network reported Wednesday.
JWICS is an internal network that enables federal agencies to transmit top-secret information and communications.
Katie Lipps, chief of the JWICS program management office at DIA, said the WAN contract award comes as the agency commences its five-year plan to modernize JWICS that includes “tech refresh” initiatives to ensure the use of new network components.
“We have historically not been able to keep up with a good tech refresh cycle, and that first line of effort is going to help us maintain a healthy five year tech refresh cycle, which is critical in an IT environment, where you have the pace of it constantly changing,” she said.
Lipps said DIA is looking at the future architecture of JWICS through the modernization effort and expects the contract, which has a one-year base term and seven option years, to help advance that initiative.
“The contract is structured so that this vendor will provide the majority of the day-to-day operations support for the JWICS architecture,” she noted. “And then we do have some optional capabilities within the contract. . . where we could leverage the contract and the vendors that are on that contract to perform engineering functions for the future architecture, some of the capabilities we talked about looking into in the future, like mobility.”