In a landmark move, the Defense Department and the intelligence community have signed an agreement for shared use of classified cloud capacity, making this the first such arrangement between the two organizations. The collaboration is part of the DoD’s new Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability (JWCC) and initially will be accessible within the continental U.S.
The shared cloud service is expected to significantly aid the Combined Joint All-Domain Command and Control (CJADC2), as outlined by Ryan McArthur, the program manager for JWCC. The CJADC2 is an initiative that turns sensor data into actionable information, accelerating decision-making for military leaders. The new cloud service will enhance interoperability and overcome the challenge of separate systems.
A notable issue yet to be addressed is the question of authorizations for secret cloud access. The aim is to transition away from the current reciprocity agreements, with discussions underway to decide on the authoritative body for top-secret and secret clearances. The decisions are still in the early stages.
In December, the Pentagon awarded JWCC contracts to Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and Oracle, aiming to standardize requirements and ensure interoperability. McArthur expressed his vision to utilize third-party services for enhanced cloud capabilities in the next five years, marking a shift in responsibility for some of the transport functions to the cloud service providers. This strategic change is expected to facilitate better agility and security in the software development lifecycle.