Bradley challenges industry to help CROWS succeed

  • Published
  • By Benjamin Newell
  • 66th Air Base Group Public Affairs

LEXINGTON, Mass. – Joe Bradley asked business partners to keep him informed of how his cyber resiliency and engineering workforce can make weapons systems secure during the Hanscom Representatives Association luncheon April 3 in Lexington, Massachusetts.

Bradley leads engineers and cyber resiliency efforts at Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Hanscom, as both director of the Cyber Resiliency Office for Weapons Systems and associate director of engineering and technical management.

CROWS stood up three years ago in response to National Defense Authorization Act of 2016, section 1647, which asked the military to analyze the cyber vulnerabilities of major weapons systems and report findings back to Congress. In 2018, Congress fully funded the Air Force’s cyber resiliency office, and it is now able to execute its mission. One of the missions is to find ways to standardize cyber resiliency in the acquisition process, and thereby reduce the burden on Airmen charged with ensuring weapons systems keep pace with threats.

“We need to thin down those requirements documents and make them simple and standard,” said Bradley. “This year we’re reducing reporting requirements so acquisition professionals aren’t performing unnecessary steps.”

Bradley addressed approximately 30 HRA members during the luncheon and cited CROWS successes and its challenges, positing that its future would be determined by the information it gathers and partnerships it forges with industry.

“We’re starting what I like to think of as an incubator,” he said. “I want us to take our prototyping funding and work with you to bring one-off examples of products that can make us more secure, and then find program executive offices that can fund full productions.”

Attendees received Bradley’s incubator concept well, asking more than once when the initiative would begin.

“We’re in the final stages, and we’ll be rolling something out in the next two weeks,” he said.

HRA members consist of technology and defense sector professionals who do business with Hanscom. Several new members attended Bradley’s talk, and said they came away with new ideas on how to work with the Air Force.

“Hanscom pulls-in industry, but lots of good things happen around these events too,” said Amy Zolla, a customer support manager with Core Security Technologies, a small business that tests networks for vulnerabilities. “We’re learning about other companies and programs and we really like the environment in this area.”