The landscape continues to shift and the DoD community needs to evolve to stay ahead. The Hon. John Sherman, DoD CIO told USGIF GEOINT 2024 Symposium attendees that we’re constantly evolving – especially in cybersecurity. Sherman recalled his career origins in geoint and all the changes that have happened over the years. And he noted the changes that have happened since then and where the DoD is going. With changes like Zero Trust getting in place, Sherman said, “The threat isn’t standing still, so neither can we.” He said that where we can move timelines for NIPR and SIPR implementation, it will happen.

DIB Cybersecurity and CMMC

The Defense Industrial Base (DIB) has over 400,000 companies in it. The recent expansion of cybersecurity services from the NSA are a great resource for companies – especially small businesses. Sherman said that large organizations are important too, but small companies are the roots of our U.S. economy. The CIO said, “I’m worried about the 50 person company in St Louis, MO.”

Sherman admitted that CMMC implementation isn’t easy, but it’s something that we must do. He said, “There’s a reason why People’s Liberation Army (PLA) stuff looks just like ours.” They’ve been targeting us for years and infiltrating our systems. CMMC is the push to safeguard our information and systems. Sherman said that we all have to hold each other accountable for this.

Cloud Evolves to JWCC

Sherman notes his pride in the move from the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) program to the Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability (JWCC) contracts awarded to Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS), Google Support Services LLC, Microsoft Corporation, and Oracle. Sherman shared that the Pentagon is working with all four providers and have dozens of task orders in the pipeline. He noted that we’ve moved past JEDI, getting people accredited on the new program.

Evolution of 5G and Space

The CIO shared multiple moonshot goals – from 5G capabilities to modernizing software on the fly to space capabilities. Sherman cited the need to support our military at all locations in order to improve overall retention and meet tactical needs. He noted that the more we move towards open architecture 5G, we put dictator-led countries back a step.

And it all is contingent on a team approach – especially with space capabilities. Sherman wants to find ways to “stitch together” commercial and government SATCOM so we’re ready for a war situation. Our space capabilities are a critical component for creating dilemmas for our adversaries, Sherman shared. He’s working closely with Space Force and Space Command, as well as other agencies, so that we “can fight on our terms and not go in blind.”

Working as a cohesive team is key to keeping the U.S. safe. Sherman said, “You work as a team, and you don’t relearn lessons. And if you do have to relearn lessons, it gets very expensive.” Maintaining partnerships helps us to not forget the lessons we’ve already learned, as well as, share data at speed of mission.

Related News

Jillian Hamilton has worked in a variety of Program Management roles for multiple Federal Government contractors. She has helped manage projects in training and IT. She received her Bachelors degree in Business with an emphasis in Marketing from Penn State University and her MBA from the University of Phoenix.