The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) released its request for proposals for the Defense Enclave Services (DES) contract, an $11 billion, 10-year contract that will be key to IT modernization and consolidation among the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Fourth Estate agencies.

The request for proposals, released December 8, shows that DISA is looking to award a single-award, IDIQ contract to support network modernization among Fourth Estate agencies – agencies that don’t fall under intelligence operations or the main service branches. The contract goes hand-in-hand with the Pentagon’s 4th Estate Network Optimization (4ENO) efforts.

“Defense Enclave Services will unify the 4th Estate’s Common Use IT systems, personnel, functions, and program elements associated with the support of those systems and technologies under a Single Service Provider (SSP) architecture managed, operated, and supported by DISA,” the RFP states.

The contract includes a timeline for most Defense Agency and Field Activities (DAFA) organizations to migrate by Fiscal Year 2025, with the rest migrating in FY2026. Included in the contract, but not yet fully defined, are requirements for applicants to meet the standards of the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) program.

“The objectives of DES include providing singular Command and Control (C2) focus across DAFAs for Common Use IT operations, decreasing redundant costs and enhancing cybersecurity,” DISA notes.

DES has been anticipated for some time, and the timeline has shifted some, with the contract being subject to a review by DoD CIO Dana Deasy. In a call with reporters on December 3, DISA officials noted that the department wanted to do its “due diligence” on the large contract, and that they still anticipate an award in December 2021. Officials also defended the single-award approach to DES.

“You’ve got varying IT networks with varying levels of maturity and levels of security, and with the goal being integration, this is the way to get after it to ensure we have cost efficiencies and accountability to bring us up to standards,” said Col. Jon Autrey, chief of the Defense Enclave Services Office at DISA.

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