The Army released its draft proposal March 10 for a contract that could worth as much as $1 billion to provide cyber training for the Department of Defense.
The Cyber Training, Readiness, Integration, Delivery and Enterprise Technology (TRIDENT) is a contract vehicle to offer a more streamlined approach for procuring the military’s cyber training capabilities.
The largest part of that contact will be the Persistent Cyber Training Environment (PCTE). PCTE is an online client in which members of U.S. Cyber Command’s cyber mission force can log on from anywhere in the world for training and to rehearse missions. Cyber Command leaders have said the component is one of the organization’s most critical needs. Currently, no integrated or robust cyber training environment exists.
The procurement is being organized by the Army on behalf of the Defense Department.
According to slides from a December industry day, a final solicitation is slated for the end of second quarter 2020 with an award expected at the beginning of 2021.
“The objective of Cyber TRIDENT is to provide for the managed evolution of the PCTE Platform and to provide support across all facets of the Acquisition Life Cycle for PCTE,” the documents read. “The goal of Cyber TRIDENT is to continue development operations with the integration of software and hardware enhancements from third party vendors as technology insertion occurs while conducting testing, providing periodic system updates, and fielding technology upgrades of PCTE to the Cyber Mission Forces (CMF) through an agile cadence. The vision is to leverage the existing PCTE baseline and investment in cyber training software and related infrastructure through Associate Contractor Agreements (ACAs) or subcontracts with current platform vendors.”
The notice also describes how the program manager envisions management, maintenance, and evolution of the PCTE platform. This includes platform architecture and product management, agile development and delivery systems engineering processes, development and automation, hardware and software infrastructure management, user event support, development operations (DevOps) environment management, PCTE infrastructure tool management, help desk support and onsite and remote support.
Using what are known as Cyber Innovation Challenges to award smaller companies a piece of the program, the program office is already incrementally building a platform, which is in use and is helping to prove out the concept for PCTE, refine requirements for the final contract, and reduce risk.
Officials and members of industry have indicated that the awardee of TRIDENT will inherit the final prototype version of PCTE, dubbed Version C, and advance that forward.
Industry officials noted that the draft document doesn’t include many surprises and that DoD leaders have been receptive to feedback, through the prototyping process and industry engagements.
Mark Pomerleau is a reporter for C4ISRNET, covering information warfare and cyberspace.