AWS Government, Education, & Nonprofits Blog

Modernizing Defense in the Cloud at DoD SRG Impact Level 5

Cloud computing can support the Department of Defense (DoD) mission by increasing innovation, efficiency, agility, and resiliency— all while reducing costs.

Comprised of small, highly empowered teams, DoD’s United States Digital Service (USDS) is breaking down innovation barriers, tackling mission-critical operations, and delivering more value with the cloud in highly regulated, unclassified environments.

Chris Lynch, Director of the Defense Digital Service, has been tasked with a push toward digital within the department. He recently spoke at AWS re:Invent about how DDS used the AWS Cloud to drive missions forward.

DDS encouraged the U.S. Air Force to use the cloud for testing. The program’s engineers needed regular and reliable test environments to more rapidly test software. The solution: build test environments in AWS GovCloud (US).

“We deployed our first ever national security system, or Impact Level 5, to AWS GovCloud (US). We are working on automatic builds and deployment. But the real impact is that when we are done, we are going to take something that took three weeks down to 15 minutes,” said Lynch.

The program has resulted in a cultural shift within the Air Force. Air Force Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves at re: Invent said the project has ignited a shift toward more oversight on the software development side of the acquisition process.

Watch the video of Chris Lynch at AWS re:Invent below.

The creation of the Defense Digital Service (DDS) shows progress toward Secretary Ash Carter’s goal to bring a culture of innovation in people, organizations, operations, and technology to the DoD. The DoD and the tech sector are working to support people who innovate, try new things, and iterate to recreate defense information technology.

In DefenseOne’s “Going Digital” event, Lynch spoke more about the work being done within the Defense Department and Intelligence Community to bring effective change through modernization efforts and harness promising technologies to tackle national security challenges.

Then, Steve Block, Senior Manager of Public Policy at Amazon, shared what the Department can do to better leverage the innovation happening in the commercial world today and what they can learn from industry experience as they continue to move toward a more modern IT environment.

Watch the viewcast here to learn more about how the DoD is modernizing defense in the cloud.