U.S. AF Defensive Applications and Network Support (DANS)

The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Defensive Cyberspace Operations Branch (AFLCMC/HNCD) envisioned a capability to identify, characterize, and mitigate cyberspace threats impacting critical operational capabilities within USAF and DoD networks. The Defensive Applications and Network Support (DANS) contract resulted from the combination of three disparate contracts: Maintenance System Support (MSS), Defensive Cyber System Engineering (DCSE), and Defensive Cyber Information Assurance and Network Support (DCIANS). DANS was tasked to engineer, build, develop, field, and sustain the Cyberspace Vulnerability Assessment/Hunter (CVA/H) Weapon System.

Contract Mission

The DANS mission is to provide the Air Force Cyber Command and Combatant Commanders with mobile precision protection capabilities to identify, pursue and mitigate cyberspace threats in DoD and USAF networks. The mission is enabled by the CVA-H weapon system. CVA-H is supported by Technica through a DevSecOps paradigm that provides:

  • Facilitation of threat hunting
  • Support for forensic analysis
  • Survey of the cyber terrain: wired, wireless and analog networks
  • Identification of Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs)
  • Assistance in the development of remediation plans
  • Verification that threats have been neutralized or eliminated

CVA-H instances are configured in accordance with mission specifications and requirements from Cyber Protection Teams (CPTs) and Mission Defence Teams (MDTs) and are delivered for their use in three variants:

  • Garrison Interceptor Platform (GIP)
  • Deployable Interceptor Platform (DIP)
  • Mobile Interceptor Platform (MIP)

Mission Challenge

Development, integration, and sustainment teams supporting the weapon system were not integrated and were slow to deliver new capabilities to CPTs and MDTs. The system was operating under an interim authority to operate (ATO) and training and support services were hindered by unclear delineation of responsibility and accountability among multiple support contracts.

Technica Solution

Three previously independent contracts were merged into the Defensive Applications and Network Support (DANS) contract, and DANS was tasked with engineering, building, developing, fielding, and sustaining the Cyberspace Vulnerability Assessment/Hunter (CVA/H) Weapon System. Within this unified work structure, Technica instituted DevSecOps practices and improvements to integration and service management processes.

Secure the Asset, Neutralize the Threat

Technica’s CVA/Hunter DANS program comprises over 150 matrixed team members operating across seven cross-functional areas; development, systems integration, testing, training, engineering, and architecture hubs, integrated with 24/7/365 service desk operations and on-site support. The program is complemented by information assurance teams staff focused on implementing and supporting complex network and computer monitoring and data analysis needs.

Results

Technica has proven to be a valued partner to the USAF CVA/H PMO. Through consolidation of functions, reorganization of support teams, and implementation of industry best practices for software development, integration, deployment, and support, we have:

  • Improved Speed and Quality of Delivery.
    New capabilities are fielded faster, with simultaneous improvements to product quality and the organization’s security posture.
  • Improved Effectiveness of End Users.
    Improved documentation and training provide operators with the tools to incorporate new functionality into mission planning and execution.
  • Better, Faster Support.
    Visibility into program support requirements and decreased time to problem resolution maintain uptime for CPTs and MDTs to achieve mission objectives.

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