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Amid COVID-19 hurdles, AFRL develops “jump kits” to rapidly enable operations, support enduring mission readiness

Preston Dunlap, Air Force chief architect, briefs Department of Defense senior leaders during the first ever Advanced Battle Management System live demonstration at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., Dec. 18, 2019. During the first demonstration of the ABMS, operators across the Air Force, Army, Navy and industry tested multiple real-time data sharing tools and technology in a homeland defense-based scenario enacted by U.S. Northern Command and enabled by Air Force senior leaders. The collection of networked systems and immediately available information is critical to enabling joint service operations across all domains. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Joshua J. Garcia)

Preston Dunlap, Air Force chief architect, briefs Department of Defense senior leaders during the first ever Advanced Battle Management System live demonstration at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., Dec. 18, 2019. During the first demonstration of the ABMS, operators across the Air Force, Army, Navy and industry tested multiple real-time data sharing tools and technology in a homeland defense-based scenario enacted by U.S. Northern Command and enabled by Air Force senior leaders. The collection of networked systems and immediately available information is critical to enabling joint service operations across all domains. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Joshua J. Garcia)

ROME, N.Y. – With vast numbers of businesses and organizations re-calibrating day-to-day operations, organizations across the Department of Defense and the intelligence community are adopting new technologies rapidly developed by the Air Force Research Laboratory to support critical operations amid the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. 

The SecureView Program Office based out of AFRL’s Information Directorate is working directly with other government programs to provide remote operators with secure access to classified networks through a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) technology, an approved Commercial Solutions for Classified (CSfC) hardware stack and SecureView-enabled laptops. This expedited fielding of SecureView’s VDI CSfC is one of the Department of the Air Force’s Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS) lines of effort, dubbed deviceONE, that is intended to enable seamless operations in a disaggregated, mobile posture at the right classification levels – a game-changer for the warfighter to achieve for all-domain operations.

While the public practices social distancing as a precautionary measure to control the spread of the deadly virus, many aspects of society, including schools, businesses and government facilities have shut down. Work-from-home orders have displaced hundreds of thousands of civilians, contractors and active-duty military personnel from connected and outfitted facilities.

“In a crisis situation, an organization’s ability to respond quickly and gain access to all relevant situational data is important for effective operational management,” said Brig. Gen. Evan Dertien, commander of the Air Force Research Laboratory. “Timely and reliable access to secure data is essential for continuity of operations.”

SecureView is the DOD standard cross-domain system that provides access to networks of different classifications, all from the same physical computing device, thus breaking down information sharing silos and providing unparalleled access to data. AFRL has engaged in cross-domain research, development, test, deployment and support for nearly 30 years.

“SecureView provides a state-of-the-art access solution that is elegant, reliable and secure, providing access to multiple independent levels of security across networks of varying classifications,” said Dr. Dave DeProspero, lead for SecureView Operational Engineering.

As with most government facilities, the Rome Research Site in Rome, N.Y. is in a mission critical posture reducing the AFRL on-site presence from nearly 1,200 employees to just 125. As a result, the SecureView team, spread throughout central New York, has mobilized in partnership with the Air Force and Space Force ABMS Team to deploy these deviceONE “jump kits” to the DOD and the Intelligence Community.

Program Officers are also delivering high-performance modular laptop platforms to ensure users have the necessary power and required features. This computing equipment pairs with an approved retransmission device to facilitate remote connectivity. Users experience seamless continuance of operation through access to military networks of varying classifications regardless of their location.

“Amid this global crisis, the SecureView program office and its strategic partners are providing highly sought-after capabilities and critical system access to the DOD and intelligence communities,” said Dr. Bryant Wysocki, Senior Tech Advisor for AFRL’s Information Directorate. “Their efforts have been critical to ensuring optimal mission readiness for U.S. forces.”

“This changes everything!” said Preston Dunlap, Chief Architect of the Department of the Air Force. “I challenged the Department to bring capability forward faster – both for the warfighter at the edge and now for the enterprise at home in response to COVID-19. The AFRL Rome team answered the call, without hesitation, and has done heroic work for the Air and Space Force. They are working 24/7 to deliver remote, secure computing capability faster than ever before.”