DOD CIO awards

DOD CIO winners honored for security, savings

The Defense Department's CIO Terry Halvorsen, left, poses with members of the Air Force Information Network Mission Assurance Center Development Team, which won a team award at the 2015 Department of Defense Chief Information Officer Award for Cyber and IT Excellence ceremony at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., Dec. 1, 2015.

This year’s winners of the Defense Department’s CIO Award for Cyber and IT Excellence were honored at a Pentagon ceremony Dec. 1 for their work protecting the warfighter, securing government networks and identifying millions of dollars in savings.

“Every year I look at these and think we cannot do any better, and every year we just get surprised by how good the award winners are and tough the competition is,” Department of Defense CIO Terry Halvorsen said. 

The winners are as follows:

Individual Category:

First Place: Matthew A. Sion, 1st Air and Space Communications Operations Squadron and Chief, Systems Support, European Partner Integration Enterprise at U.S. Air Forces Europe, Ramstein, Germany -- Sion helped support critical operations for unmanned aerial vehicle operations against ISIS.

Second Place (tie): Air Force Capt. Amber R. Oar, Program Manager Air Force IT Business Analytics Office at AFLCMC Business Enterprise Systems Directorate located at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. -- Oar’s work not only changed the way the service manages its IT hardware, software and services but will lead to a minimum of 20 percent savings on IT procurement.

Second Place (tie): Air Force Capt. James D. Nicholson, Director of Operations of 707th Communications Squadron at Fort Meade, Md. -- Under Nicholson’s direction, 1.2 million network vulnerabilities were eradicated and 244 cyber security controls implemented. Additionally, his wing achieved the first accreditation of the Secure Internet Protocol Router Network in eight years. 

Third Place: Clint E. Maddox, Specialist, Information Technology and Infrastructure Support Lead for Marine Corps Installation Command, Operations & Energy, Facilities Systems located in Kansas City, Mo. -- Maddox led the design and establishment of a $7 million accredited hosting enclave that allowed centralized system management for critical Marine Corps installation information systems. His teams also designed a hosting platform for consolidated information systems from over 500 disparate environments.

Team Category

Air Force Information Network Mission Assurance Center Development Team, 690th Network Support Squadron located at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas -- With the successful revamping of AFIN operations, the team saved 83,000 manpower hours per year across three organizations while also standing up the Virtual Enterprise Service Desk application that redefined the Air Force’s IT service support architecture and saved over $9 million in manpower costs.

Data Center Consolidation and Recapitalization Team, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency -- The team reduced NGA’s forward personnel footprint by 50 to 75 percent, saving an estimated $40 million in facility, personnel, communications and operating costs.  Additionally, the team anticipated and managed the withdrawal of resources from Afghanistan without interrupting or degrading IT services to warfighters and implemented cloud technologies for future intelligence community enterprise services.

The Army National Guard Enterprise IT Service Management Team -- Implemented new capabilities and functionality so that states could avoid hardware, license, maintenance and support costs. Licensing costs were reduced by over $7.4 million over the next five years.     

Information Assurance Support Environment Program Management Team, Defense Information Systems Agency -- The IASE, one of the most used cybersecurity sources serving over 4 million DOD, federal and foreign coalition partners, state, local authorities, academia and commercial industry partners, was maintained by DISA despite a 10 percent budget cut.

Project Ghostfire Team, National Geospatial Intelligence Agency -- Project Ghostfire has reduced the time it takes to receive commercial images from hours to seconds, enabling analysts to more quickly respond to mission and targeting requirements. 

Tactical Infrastructure Enterprise Services Coalition Warfare Program Team, Joint Staff J6 -- Developed and posted Information Exchange Package Documentation -- used for position report, observed position report, air tracks and situational awareness -- for reuse by NATO partners, giving them to access this type of information for the first time. By conducting encryption and web service security testing and utilizing a common data labeling schema for automated information redaction, the team facilitated information sharing among all 29 NATO nations and 41 NATO Partnership for Peace nations. 

About the Author

Mark Pomerleau is a former editorial fellow with GCN and Defense Systems.


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