Air Force: Control center jobs are too critical to outsource

Air Force: Control center jobs are too critical to outsource

The Air Force is unlikely to outsource many of the blue-suit, or uniformed, positions in communications and network operations because of how critical they are to warfighting, officials said at the Air Force Information Technology Conference.

Col. John Maluda, deputy director for command, control, communications, computer, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance integration, drew an analogy to the Navy's strategy through its Navy-Marine Corps Intranet project, saying the Navy is outsourcing garrison and base networks and communications but not the aboard command and control networks.

'We are an air and space expeditionary force,' he said. With few exceptions, 'not one network control center has been outsourced.' Combat and military commands, he said, will remain with uniformed personnel.

Where outsourcing of critical components has been done, the results are mixed, said Col. David Schreck, deputy director of communications and information at the Air Force Space Command. He told the conference that several years following A-76 competitions and a blue-suit reduction of 65 percent, savings are up to a third less than promised by vendors.

Now that many of the Space Command's contracts are coming up for recompetition, 'we'll raise the issue of where we need to do another [most efficient organization] analysis,' Schreck said. He added, 'Getting more blue-suiters back may be next to impossible,' but he held out hope for at least restoring some civilian Air Force positions.

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