Air Force nears release of $12.5B network infrastructure opportunity / Yuichiro Chino

The multiple-award contract is a continuation of prior efforts to incorporate more commercial-like offerings at Air Force bases.

The Air Force is looking at March 22 as its anticipated date to release the final solicitation for a potential $12.5 billion contract vehicle focused on network infrastructure modernization efforts at bases around the world.

Work will take place over a period of up to 10 years that include an initial five-year base and an option for that same amount of time.

The Base Infrastructure Modernization IDIQ vehicle will be a full-and-open competition with a separate track for small businesses, the branch said in a Thursday notice.

The Air Force plans to gear five of those set-aside awards toward 8(a) firms. A minimum of three awards earch are currently being reserved for woman-owned, HUBZone, service-disabled veteran-owned, and general small business categories.

BIM is an effort by the Air Force to take lessons learned from both prior IT infrastructure modernization efforts at its bases and a portion of the service branch's Enterprise IT-as-a-Service initiative also known as EITaaS.

The network-as-a-service component of EITaaS launched in 2018 under a pair of Other Transaction Authority agreements with AT&T and Microsoft, which worked with the Air Force to experiment on using commercial networks and related capabilities at bases.

Companies will compete for task orders to design, install, test and maintain wired and wireless components of both classified and unclassified networks. Awardees will also be responsible for the operation, monitoring and sustainment of the network based on requirements for multidomain operations.