Forging the Army’s cyber defense
The Forge is an open door for industry to collaborate with the Army on cybersecurity operations, fostering innovation and speeding solution delivery.
It’s a lesson most of us learned as children, playing the game of “telephone”: The more people involved in passing along a message, the greater the likelihood that things will go awry. That concept also applies to acquisition. Requests are submitted, formatted and passed through so many sets of hands that in some cases, a final result may no longer meet the original intent.
“A lot of information in acquisition and procurements is lost in translation,” explained Joe Kobsar, director of Applied Cyber Technologies at the Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Systems (PEO EIS). “A Soldier will express a need for something. By the time it reaches paper format, it’s been transformed into this entirely new creature. People just keep adding things to them, which were never part of the initial requirements. That doesn’t work for rapid acquisition.”
To tackle this problem, PEO EIS is bringing everyone to the table. Through its Defensive Cyber Operations (DCO) project, it has created an innovation hub called “The Forge” at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. Tucked away between the bowling center and the Specker Field House, the Forge is inconspicuously located inside the former garden center building. Though unassuming from the outside, its interior is bright and modern. It provides office space for roughly a dozen full-time staff, representing the U.S. Army Cyber Command’s Data Warfare Division, Army Contracting Command – Rock Island (ACC-RI), the DCO program office, the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command and the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command, with ample meeting rooms and event spaces for collaboration with industry.