In an era where digital innovation is key to space exploration and security, the United States Space Force (USSF) is leading the way through strategic partnerships and cutting-edge projects. A prime example of this forward-thinking approach is the Enigma Project, a groundbreaking initiative that harnesses the power of cloud technology to foster a secure and collaborative environment. This project is a testament to the USSF’s commitment to leveraging collective expertise from both government and industry sectors to maintain and enhance their digital dominance in space.
We recently sat down with Travis Dawson, the Enigma Director at GDIT, to discuss the project and its recently announced extension and expansion of scope. Here’s what he had to say:
Can you tell us about GDIT’s role on the Enigma Project and what our teams are doing?
Sure. Our teams began working with Space Systems Command (SSC) in early 2023 to build the USSF’s digital backbone in support of the acquisition mission. The Enigma project involves creating a collaborative network and a contractor operated digital environment that provides a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) capability. It also includes on-boarding and integration support services for third-party applications.
Why is that important to the Space Force?
Enigma is important to the Space Force for a number of reasons. In fact, the USSF CIO called it a “game changer” in the agency’s ability to collaborate more effectively and in a secure manner. If you think about the fact that USSF is tasked with securing the nation’s interests in, from, and to space, you have to understand that providing a mission network that facilitates collaboration between government and industry partners is critical to that effort. Secondly, as technology advances and legacy systems become obsolete, this need will become even more pronounced. And third, the Space Force needs a system to facilitate a multi-enclave digital and collaboration environment at a classified level. Enigma addresses all of that.
Why was the project recently extended and expanded?
Today, the Enigma environment is accessible to all Space Force engineering and acquisition missions and creates the ability to connect to anyone, anywhere, anytime at multiple security enclaves. After a successful demonstration of our capabilities in support of the development of the secure cloud-based environment, Space Force expanded our scope to extend the Enigma Impact Level 6 (IL6) environment to additional mission partners. Additionally, GDIT will now pull in another cloud service provider to create a classified multi-cloud environment, as well as further increase Commercial Solutions for Classified (CSfC), digital engineering and zero trust capabilities to support the Enigma project.
Can you tell us about how GDIT’s Digital Accelerator strategy played a role here?
As part of our Digital Accelerator strategy we have developed a portfolio of tailorable digital solutions that integrate seamlessly with existing IT environments. This means we can easily bring the benefits of AI, connectivity at the edge, resilient cybersecurity, and cloud, to our customers – and we can do it with rapidly deployable, customizable, and cyber-hardened solutions. This is what enabled us to be incredibly responsive when the scope of the Enigma project expanded to include things like digital engineering, zero trust, AI Ops, multi-cloud, and software factory.
Tell us more about the GDIT Commercial Solutions for Classified (CSfC) offering. How did that come into play here?
We have experience with such an offering on similar projects. It’s what enabled us to create a way for users without direct access to an IL6 network connection to use a Commercial Solutions for Classified (CSfC) multi-classification remote laptop that can support a number of network connections simultaneously. This solution is enterprise in nature, hot-swappable – meaning, it’s not tied to a user – and meets all National Security Agency (NSA) and Defense Security/Cybersecurity Authorization Working Group (DSAWG) requirements. It’s an important part of the solution and is an added dimension to our ability to provide the Space Force with secure ways to collaborate with mission partners from both government and industry.
What’s next for you and the Enigma Project team?
At its core, Enigma is all about ease of use for the Space Force community. Enigma leverages a sustainability model that enables the Space Force to refocus cyber Airmen and Guardians to core warfighting missions while improving operational readiness, lethality, and retention. We’re extremely proud to be able to continue our partnership with the Space Force in deploying an advanced technical solution based on our Digital Accelerators that creates an exceptional user experience connecting all stakeholders across the enterprise to enhance joint lethality. Our focus going forward will center on integrating new capabilities and continuing to support this critical mission for the Space Force.
Thank you, Travis. We appreciate your time.
We invite you to learn more about the Enigma Project here, and about our DoD portfolio here.
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