Prime Integrator Contract Award Sets the JAIC’s Joint Common Foundation on the Road to Enterprise-Level AI Production
- By: The JAIC
The Joint Artificial Intelligence Center has been working diligently for more than a year to create the foundational infrastructure, standards, and policies needed to set up the Joint Common Foundation, which is the AI development environment for the Department of Defense. With that task now completed, the JAIC is ready to start accelerating the development of the JCF to full-scale, enterprise-level operation.
To make this happen, the JAIC and the Defense Information Systems Agency just awarded a task order with an estimated value of $106 million over four years on the Systems Engineering, Technology, and Innovation Prime Integrator Contract to Deloitte. This award is significant because it will enable the JAIC to rapidly create, test, validate, and field AI capabilities across the DoD and out to the tactical edge.
The JCF will be a flexible, agile, and highly secure environment designed to lower the barrier of entry for AI developers for the DoD and accelerate the development of AI-enabled solutions. Deloitte in its new role will be responsible for taking the JCF to the next level. Specifically, Deloitte will:
- Integrate leading-edge commercial, open source, and government-purpose toolsets to create a scaled DoD Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning ecosystem via cloud-based environments for the JCF.
- Provide, operate, maintain, secure, defend, and enhance the JCF with cloud technologies, AI tools, and resources that can be shared and distributed to end users across the DoD enterprise.
- Establish a process to rapidly on-board vendors and providers of critical Data, Machine Learning, and Artificial Intelligence toolsets.
“We are very excited to have this contract awarded,” said Col. Sang Han, Chief of Infrastructure and Platform for the JCF. “It was a long journey from ideation to requirements development to source selection and—finally—to award so that we can provide an AI/ML development environment to the DoD at scale. We won’t immediately go from 0 to 100 miles per hour, but we are now stepping on the accelerator and are on our way.”
As prime integrator, Deloitte will provide the JAIC and the JCF with a number of benefits, including the following:
- A single contract partner responsible for the functional infrastructure that will enable the full AI/ML pipeline from data ingest to machine learning/training to a full software platform deployment.
- Sufficient technical, operational, and security resources to run the JCF at the scale needed to support the entire DoD and its AI development needs.
- Access to industry and commercial areas of expertise, enabling the JAIC and the JCF to access and significantly leverage new and existing commercial AI tools, capabilities, and resources.
- The large-scale security authorization experience and expertise needed to move the JCF’s systems and software through the DoD Risk Management Framework assessment and authorization process rapidly and accurately.
- A greater ability to determine and make available the full range of AI/ML capabilities quickly, securely, and comprehensively to DoD AI project teams aligned to DoD Mission Initiatives, as well as other customers and partners.
- Anytime/anywhere access to helpdesk and technical support services.
- The ability to stand up and offer a DoD AI service marketplace where DoD customers and partners share data, models, pipelines, and best practices to employ AI/ML-enabled software.
The original JCF engineering and development team has been providing initial development capabilities within the JCF-Provisional environment. With Deloitte on board, the JAIC will begin standing up the JCF on the DoD provisional authorized cloud that will be interoperable and JEDI ready.
“We expect an essential set of tools allowing data and AI development to expand the JCF user base very quickly,” said Donald E. Bitner, Chief of JCF Strategy and Infrastructure. “The goal is to have the JCF at full operational capability for use on unclassified data in one year or sooner.”
The prime integrator will eventually integrate the JCF onto JEDI, which is essential to ensuring that a common DoD-wide cloud infrastructure is utilized to modernize the DoD’s information technology environment and provide the warfighter with the right tools at the right time and at the right speed.
“When it’s fully operational, the JCF will be a game changer,” said Maj. Gregory Stewart, Jr., the JAIC’s Design Branch Chief, Infrastructure. “Instead of expecting DoD components and our other partners to fund and create their own AI development environments, we will be able to provide highly secure virtual AI development environments to anyone authorized to use it.”
And that will have huge benefits for the DoD and its mission. “In coming together in one place, everyone will have the ability to share their knowledge and expertise with each other, share AI models, share code, and share data for the greater good, and they’ll be able to do it anywhere, anytime,” said Col. Han. “With the prime integrator award, that vision is now much closer to becoming reality.”
To learn more about the prime integrator contract award to Deloitte, please visit the JAIC website at https://www.ai.mil/news_media.html.