The U.S. Department of Defense said it lined up at least 100 task orders tied to its multibillion-dollar Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability contract.

More than 47 orders have already been awarded to contractors, and over 50 are “in the pipeline right now,” according to Defense Department Chief Information Officer John Sherman. The figures are up sharply from August, when officials said they were working with more than 13.

“In today’s environment … it is critical more than ever that we provide DOD personnel with secure and resilient software when and where they need it,” Sherman told the House’s Cyber, Information Technology and Innovation panel March 22. Exactly how many orders have been completed thus far was unclear.

The Defense Department in December 2022 tapped Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Oracle to supply digital services for the JWCC, itself the successor to the failed Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure venture, or JEDI. The JWCC is valued up to $9 billion over several years. The four companies compete for each order dished out, with each only guaranteed $100,000.

The cloud capability contract is considered the backbone of the Defense Department’s connect-everything-everywhere campaign dubbed Combined Joint All-Domain Command and Control. The CJADC2 concept envisions troops and their databases seamlessly linked across land, air, sea, space and cyber, and spanning unclassified, classified and top secret designations.

“When I testified last year, the department was just beginning the enterprise cloud journey,” Sherman told lawmakers. “I’m happy to report significant and successful progress.”

Cloud is increasingly seen as a means to get the right data to the right people at the right time — a pillar of CJADC2. Sherman last year advised defense agencies, military services and other offices to prioritize JWCC, especially when inking deals involving the nation’s most sensitive information.

The guidance helps streamline cloud contracting and reduces “contract sprawl” across the Defense Department, Sherman said.

His directions for JWCC employment included carve outs for the National Reconnaissance Office, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency. They rely on the intelligence community’s Commercial Cloud Enterprise, or C2E, which was awarded in 2020. It features the same vendors as JWCC, plus IBM.

Colin Demarest is a reporter at C4ISRNET, where he covers military networks, cyber and IT. Colin previously covered the Department of Energy and its National Nuclear Security Administration — namely Cold War cleanup and nuclear weapons development — for a daily newspaper in South Carolina. Colin is also an award-winning photographer.

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