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Air Force's James Crocker to Speak at the 2024 Air Defense Summit

Col. James Crocker to Speak at the 2024 Air Defense Summit

Col. James Crocker is among the distinguished speakers to grace the panel stage at the Potomac Officers Club’s 2024 Air Defense Summit. Alongside other industry leaders, he will lead the “Accelerating with IT” panel discussion. 

Learn about Crocker, his career background and his selection to speak at the 2024 Air Defense Summit.


Who is Col. James Crocker?

James Crocker discussing the BESPIN's mission and current efforts during the 2021 SA Innovation Summit
Photo by Marcelo Joniaux, Andrey Agashchuk/ DVIDSHUB.NET


Col. James Crocker is a seasoned cyber expert and innovator with over 25 years of experience in defense and technology. He is an authority in the development, security and operations (DevSecOps) sector within the Department of Defense.

Crocker is currently the chief technology officer of the Department of the Air Force’s Cloud One, identity, credential and access management and data fabric enterprise cloud programs. In this role, he oversees a $3 billion portfolio of programs, supporting 125 applications and 700,000 users across the department.


James Crocker’s Career Highlights and Contributions

Crocker had established a productive career leading to his present role. Below is a rundown of his previous positions:

  • Network and Infrastructure Engineer at IBM: Crocker served as a network and infrastructure engineer at IBM, where he managed network systems for major companies, including Walmart, Gap and Texaco. 
  • Software Developer at the U.S. Air Force: In November 1999, Crocker transitioned to the Air Force as a software developer. His early works included designing and programming munitions, providing countermeasures against enemy threats and helping with infrared/radio frequency analysis, which were crucial in early combat efforts in Afghanistan.
  • Intel Systems Developer and Crypto Specialist at the National Security Agency: In 2005, Crocker worked as an intel systems developer and crypto specialist at the National Security Agency. He was tasked across the northernmost disparate Indo-Pacific Command locations.
  • Enterprise Information System Security Manager and Communications System Lead at the Air Combat Command: Crocker also served as the enterprise information security manager and communications system lead at the Air Force’s Air Combat Command. During his tenure, he completed five Enterprise Enclave Authority to Operate certifications in three classifications, modernized a major Air Force data center and enhanced regional security in collaboration with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.


James Crocket’s Technological Impact



One of Crocker’s recent accomplishments is founding and leading the success of the Air Force’s Business and Enterprise Systems Product Innovation, commonly referred to as BESPIN.

As a co-founder of BESPIN, he introduced a digital services environment for mobile, web and cloud-native development across the Air Force enterprise systems. It delivers applications to CloudOne under continuous authorization to operate.

BESPIN tackles two main challenges:

  1. Developing a software factory focused on mobile application development, a first-time initiative for the Air Force
  2. Establishing a software factory that operates across all functional areas while overcoming governmental policy constraints and obstacles


Read more: A Look Inside The DOD’s Software Factory Boom With Pentagon’s Top Software Official


U.S. Air Force’s Digital University

Crocker was instrumental in establishing the Air Force’s Digital University, an online training program developed as a part of the “Digital Air Force” strategy

Launched in 2020, the Digital University aims to improve the Air Force’s IT systems and boost airmen’s IT and cybersecurity skills. It ensures that airmen are well-equipped to handle advanced digital adversaries.

Col. James Crocker emphasizes the Air Force’s commitment to “nurturing innovation and delivering the best possible training” to airmen in the face of accelerated digital transformation.

“With Digital University, we are able to democratize technical training across the Air Force and we are already seeing impressive results as Airmen gain the necessary skills to meet our digital modernization and growth needs,” Crocker said.

The university offers free courses to all airmen and full-time Air Force civilians. These skills-based courses are specially designed for “tactical operators,” or those who manage IT networks and cybersecurity missions daily.


Col. James Crocker Is a Panel Speaker at the 2024 Air Defense Summit

Date: July 23, 2024

Time: 7:00 a.m. – 2:15 p.m. (Eastern Time Zone)

Venue: Hilton-McLean, 7920 Jones Branch Drive, McLean, VA

Hear James Crocker’s insights, particularly on IT acceleration, at the upcoming 2024 Air Defense Summit.

The 2024 Air Defense Summit is a premier assemblage of the defense sector’s best and brightest leaders to discuss comprehensive transformation efforts, advanced technology adoption and more.

Joining BESPIN’s James Crocker on the “Accelerating with IT” panel discussion will be Air Force’s Colonel Frank Biancardi and SAIC’s Bob Ritchie. 

Secure your spot now to be part of the conversation!

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