AWS Government, Education, & Nonprofits Blog

Staying a Step Ahead in a Changing World: The AFSOC Story

The Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), headquartered at Hurlburt Field, Florida, is the special operations component of the United States Air Force. Their mission is to provide the Nation’s specialized airpower, capable across the spectrum of conflict – any place, any time. AFSOC strives to stay a step ahead in a changing world, delivering Special Operations power anytime, anywhere.

They rely on AWS GovCloud (US) for its critical mission data to be able to meet their compliance requirements, while also realizing the cost savings, reliability, and flexibility of cloud computing.

By using AWS, the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command is able to save $3.5 million and serve more than 16,000 active-duty, Air Force Reserve, Air National Guard and civilian personnel globally and securely.

Why AWS GovCloud (US)?

AFSOC needed to centrally store data so people in different places can work with a common set of information, like schedules, post-mission reports, inventories, and plans. AFSOC’s mission requires a lot of flexibility and security, while remaining at a low cost. For highly sensitive data, they need to restrict physical and logical administrative access to U.S. persons only.

AWS GovCloud (US), an isolated AWS region designed to host sensitive data and regulated workloads in the cloud, helps the Air Force support their U.S. government compliance requirements, including the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP). The Air Forces also uses Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) to automatically and transparently scale to use requirements.

The Benefits

  • Global deployment: Their secure facility serves people around the world. The AWS Cloud provides redundant failover to securely serve constituents globally, wherever they are stationed.
  • Cost savings: By using AWS, the AFSOC Cloud saves $3.5 million through FY’2019. Through virtualization of services and pooled resources with other government agencies, they are able to save on many costly functions and are no longer left with unused resources.
  • Security: They are able to meet the security and compliance requirements of their end users to host highly sensitive data.
  • High Reliability: The Air Force experiences 99.99% reliability, delivering mission-critical data quickly. America’s Air Commandos are headquartered in Hurricane Alley. Remote AWS GovCloud (US) regions assure America’s global response capability without fail for local disasters.

Learn more about AWS for defense here.