Winning a $3B DIA IDS2 Contract

  |  July 16, 2019

Last March 14, the US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) issued a Request for Information (RFI) for its Infrastructure Development and Sustainment (IDS2) acquisition.  ISD2 will provide the US military’s designated intel component with integrated IT services and technical support — worldwide. It’s expected to weigh in at $3B.

CUTTING EDGE TECHNOLOGY – The U.S. Navy’s M80 Stiletto, housing DIA-sponsored technology, prepares to get underway during Joint Innovation Battle Lab 2019. A key feature of this vessel is that it can set up a network between a special forces team by launching an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that relays information between the team and boat. The Stiletto can also carry surveillance UAVs to provide reconnaissance for the SEAL team, and, using a clustered supercomputer on board, can send real-time images to the team on shore.

The IDS2 ID/IQ supersedes the currently funded Enhanced Solutions for the Information Technology Enterprise (E-SITE) contract, and an assortment of other DIA IT service vehicles.  The RFP is expected to hit the street in July, and the number of awardees is yet to be determined.

IDS2 is intended to streamline the procurement process for delivering infrastructure-related services.

Also, DIA intends for it to increase the number of participants in its IT stable, enlarge its arsenal, and enhance its resource base.

So………….the welcome mat is out for new contract participants.

Run of the Mill – Out of the Running

But not EVERY IT Honcho should bid on this.  DIA IT work has been — and will remain – – the provenance of a select group found at the advanced end of the IT spectrum.  Just same old, every day, plug-and-play, routine help desk-type support and/or conventional hard and software “solutions” may be good enough for civilian agencies and/or your typical county government.  But they’re not what DIA is looking for.

Specifically, IDS2 requires provision of Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a Service, Software as a Service — IaaS, PaaS and SaaS, respectively — as well as utility cloud offerings and Data Cloud Management. And that’s just for starters. DIA wants contractors who can bring the IT future to them.

Bidders have to be cutting edge already, NOW, or sharpen their IT skills and up their games a notch or two, at least… before venturing into DIA’s rarified realms.

The Cutting Edge

ALL CONTRACTORS ON DECK!— DIA employees examine agency-sponsored technology aboard the U.S. Navy’s M80 Stiletto at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, Virginia, May 3, during Joint Innovation Battle Lab 2019.

IDS2 involves very HEAVY Lifting.  The type of IT chops DIA is looking for here was evidenced recently in the Joint Innovation Battle Lab (JIBL), a two-week annual Navy exercise in which DIA played a key role.

JIBL focuses on the integration of operations, technology and intelligence – right up DIA’s alley.   It serves as a venue to share best practices; identify, test and evaluate innovative technologies; and improve operational and intelligence tradecraft with special operations forces, the Department of Defense, the Intelligence Community, federal law enforcement, the private sector, and academia.

The most recent JIBL incarnation included missions performed by the Navy’s M80 Stiletto, a ship designed for combat in shallow coastal waters. The 88-foot Stiletto’s unusual shape and patented M-hull provides a stable yet fast platform for all sorts of stuff DIA has a hand in, e.g., mounted electronic surveillance equipment and specialized weaponry for both conventional and special operations.

DIA wants IT providers who can get their hands dirty, or, as in this case, wet — and provide and maintain systems that keep combat assets, like the Stiletto, razor sharp.

BANG! THE OTHER M80 — M80s were originally made in the early 20th century by the U.S. military to simulate explosives or artillery fire. Later, M80s were manufactured as fireworks.

Making the Cut

DIA intends to announce IDS2 winners the 4th quarter of FY20.

This multiple award vehicle will require contractors to propose on all service areas, to include:

  • Enterprise Activities and Services
  • Enterprise Architecture Definition, Documentation, and Planning o Technology Assessment and Evaluation
  • Customer and Work Center Support Services
  • Customer IT Infrastructure Installation, Fit Outs, and Decommissioning
  • Enterprise Computing and Storage
  • Field Service Support
  • Mission and Business Systems Services, Administration, and Management
  • Unified Communications, Voice, and Video Services
  • Audio Visual and Digital Media Services
  • Cybersecurity and Information Assurance Services
  • Other Special Services

ACHIEVING IT DOMINANCE – Key component of victory, DIA’s mission.

IDS2 Bidders should be prepared to offer DIA more than just the aforementioned IT services.  They’ll have to provide advanced, combat-ready and “ruggedized” IT capabilities that can help the US military stick it to the bad guys out there.


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