U.S. Army

Another Defense Agency to Tap CIA's Commercial Cloud

The U.S. Army’s National Ground Intelligence Center aims to use secret and top-secret services from the Amazon-developed C2S Cloud.

The U.S. Army agency responsible for providing military intelligence on foreign ground forces plans to use the C2S Cloud—the same cloud developed by Amazon Web Services for the CIA and intelligence community.

The Army’s National Ground Intelligence Center issued a one-year task order earlier this month to purchase cloud services from the Amazon-developed cloud at the unclassified, secret and top secret classification levels.

NGIC will become the second Defense agency—after U.S Transportation Command—to move classified data or applications to the C2S cloud, and could facilitate further cloud computing adoption across the Army.

“Migration to the [C2S] Cloud provides the opportunity to evaluate and potentially re-invent how Army [military intelligence] delivers IT services and make use of intelligence data and analytics to meet mission requirements,” the task order states.

The task order makes clear that Amazon Web Services’ C2S Cloud “is the only procurement mechanism in place” to provision cloud services on the Non-classified Internet Protocol, or NIPRNet; Secret Internet Protocol Router Network, or SIPRNet, and the Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications Systems, the Defense Department’s top-secret intranet.

The Army’s push for unclassified and classified cloud services mirrors a larger shift at the Defense Department.

The Pentagon is poised to bid out its Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract, or JEDI, that is expected to be worth several billion dollars for up to 10 years, if all options are exercised.

Amazon, in part because of its existing ability to host the government’s most sensitive classified workloads, is considered by most experts to be the frontrunner to win the contract. However, other companies, including Microsoft, IBM and Google have battled with each other over the contract and are expected to compete for it.