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Booz Allen Taking Holistic Approach to Cyberspace Work

BOOZ ALLEN HAMILTON INC.

CEO: Ralph W. Shrader.

Revenue: $4.1 billion for the nine months ended Dec. 31; $3.8 billion for the nine months ended Dec. 31, 2009.

Net income: $66.6 million for the nine months ended Dec. 31; $20.5 million for the nine months ended Dec. 31, 2009.

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No. of local employees: 800.

Headquarters: McLean, Va.

Year founded: 1914.

Stock symbol and exchange: BAH on the New York Stock Exchange.

Company description: Defense contractor.

Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., a diversified defense contractor with 800 employees in San Diego, is working to get a share of one of the U.S. military’s growing projects: preparing to win a fight in cyberspace.

Booz Allen is watching for new contract opportunities with the San Diego-based Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, aka Spawar. Two new proposals are in the works, reported Senior Vice President Bob Noonan.

The corporation is also hiring 20 technical and information technology specialists for its San Diego office, Noonan said.

Booz Allen also has to be very patient these days.

“We are anxiously awaiting task orders,” Noonan said in an interview last week.

Booz Allen is one of four defense houses that pulled in contracts worth tens of millions of dollars from Spawar Systems Center Pacific, the U.S. Navy command assigning the work. The Navy made the awards Jan. 28.

Waiting for Their Assignments

Now it’s a waiting game, as none of the work is assigned yet. Booz Allen and the other three were selected to compete for task orders valued at between $100,000 and “a couple million dollars,” said Ed Budzyna, a spokesman for Spawar Systems Center Pacific.

The number of task orders to be assigned is unavailable and will depend on requirements from the Navy customer, the spokesman said.

The other three corporations that received contracts — and the opportunity to compete for task orders — are General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, Northrop Grumman and SAIC.

Under its indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity, cost plus fixed fee contract, Booz Allen will be able to compete for a maximum of $71.6 million worth of work over two years. The Navy has the option to extend the deal year-by-year for up to three additional years. At its maximum, Booz Allen would be able to compete for $189 million of work.

Almost all the work will be done in San Diego, Booz Allen officials said.

Noonan said Booz Allen, led locally by Dave Karp, will help the Navy figure out how to protect itself on the network, how to exploit the network, and how to attack a network that, in turn, is trying to attack the Navy network. Some of the work will involve figuring out “who’s talking to whom” on the network.

Booz Allen’s approach will be “holistic,” Noonan said. In addition to technical matters, Booz Allen will look at people issues and policy issues.

Contract values are slightly different for each participant. General Dynamics’ two-year deal has a $78.4 million ceiling; Northrop’s has a $77.4 million ceiling; and SAIC’s has an $84.4 million ceiling. All deals may be extended to five years at the Navy’s option.

Dealing With Cyber Realm

The U.S. Department of Defense now regards cyberspace as a domain similar to air, sea, land and space, said Noonan, who retired from the U.S. Army in 2003 as a lieutenant general.

The Navy set up Fleet Cyber Command, aka the 10th Fleet, in early 2010 to deal with the cyber realm. The command is at Fort George G. Meade in Maryland.

The deals call on the four contractors to “examine the science, architecture, engineering, functionality, interface and interoperability of cyberspace operations systems, services and capabilities at the tactical, operational and strategic levels.”

General Dynamics said in a statement that it will offer digital forensics and reverse engineering skills as part of its contract.

Work in cyberspace is part of Spawar’s wider goal of “information dominance.”

Spawar, which employs more than 8,000 people worldwide, has more than 4,600 civilian and uniformed employees in San Diego, and a local payroll in excess of $520 million.

Rear Adm. Pat Brady, Spawar’s commander since August, told an audience at the April 20 San Diego Military Advisory Council breakfast that information dominance is a new term. It refers to getting information quickly to key people, who can take action based on that information.

The military is making a transition from information in warfare to “information as warfare,” the admiral said. He compared that transition to other large transitions in naval history, such as the introduction of aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines.

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