PEO EIS leaders discuss unified network support at TechNet Augusta

By Erika ChristAugust 17, 2022

PEO EIS Program Executive Officer Ross Guckert holds a keynote address at AFCEA TechNet Augusta 2022
PEO EIS Program Executive Officer Ross Guckert holds a keynote address at AFCEA TechNet Augusta 2022 (Photo Credit: Susan McGovern, PEO EIS) VIEW ORIGINAL

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Program Executive Office Enterprise Information Systems — or PEO EIS — Program Executive Officer Ross Guckert and leaders from EIS’ Networks, Cyber and Services portfolio arrived at Augusta the week of Aug. 15 to participate in AFCEA TechNet Augusta. The annual event provides a forum for government, industry and academia to discuss the intricacies of the cyber domain — this year in alignment with the theme of “Designing and Deploying a Unified Network.”

During his PEO keynote on Aug. 16, Guckert provided an update on EIS’ support for the Army’s unified network, which aims to accelerate the transition from separate networks into one network that supports the data-centric Army, increases network security, allows common network visibility and provides end-to-end connectivity.

To support unified network operations, EIS is closely collaborating with the Army Network Enterprise Technology Command and PEO Command Control Communications – Tactical, or PEO C3T, to ensure a common understanding and approach, said Guckert. EIS also is participating in network capability portfolio reviews with the Under Secretary of the Army in four areas: Department of Defense Information Network – Army operations, common services infrastructure, common transport and common operating environment. These briefings are designed to help build the case for executing on everything in the Army’s Unified Network Plan.

EIS is supporting three aspects of that plan, said Guckert. The first is Identity, Credential and Access Management (ICAM). EIS is working with the Army Deputy Chief of Staff G-6 to execute its road map for basic ICAM capabilities, as well as collaborating with PEO C3T, the Army Cyber Center of Excellence and other partners on a requirements definition package for a comprehensive ICAM solution based on a managed service model.

The second part of EIS’ Unified Network Plan support involves Secret Internet Protocol Router Network, or SIPRNet, modernization. This past spring, EIS hosted a SIPRNet Industry Day to gather information for a solicitation, which is expected to be released in the near future. The intent is to modernize the Army’s classified and non-classified networks into one gray network that provides Soldiers with unified capabilities in disconnected environments.

Finally, EIS is supporting the voice modernization piece of the Unified Network Plan. Specifically, EIS is attempting to reduce the Army’s overall phone count, regionalize existing voice over IP capabilities, implement a regional modernization approach and decommission the time division multiplexing infrastructure. EIS is updating the Army chief information officer and G-6 regularly on progress made.

“We anticipate that solicitation — Voice Modernization 2.0 — to be released later this year,” said Guckert, adding that EIS’ biggest need from industry is for synchronization solutions instead of individual tools.

In alignment with the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology’s priority to improve and accelerate software acquisition, EIS is planning to model some of the practices of its Defensive Cyber Operations, or DCO, project management office. DCO’s flexible requirements, flexible contacting approaches and flexible funding models are “a model not just for the Army — but for DOD,” said Guckert.

“They’re the pathfinders for DOD, single-handedly changing the face of rapid acquisition,” he added.

Before wrapping up his presentation, Guckert turned to the topic of data and what EIS is doing to support a data-centric environment for the Army. He highlighted some of Army Vantage’s accomplishments in this regard, including its recent usage by the XVIII Airborne Corps to modernize deployments by transforming manual processes into data-centric ones.

The Army is drafting a requirement for the data fabric/mesh architecture connecting the tactical and enterprise networks, said Guckert.

“We welcome industry’s input on how best to do that,” he said.

Guckert also encouraged industry partners to become familiar with key Army strategic documents involving data centricity, including the Army Data Plan, Army Cloud Plan, Army Digital Transformation Strategy and Army Unified Network Plan.

Following the PEO keynote, leaders from EIS’ DCO, Integrated Enterprise Network and Enterprise Services portfolios provided updates on their activities and shared some best practices for working with industry.