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 Air Force Bending the Cost Curve: PlugFest PLUS 


 Accelerating Information System (IS) Acquisition Through PlugFest PLUS 

Event Number



 1/20/2015  to 1/20/2015 


 George Mason University, Fairfax, VA 


 Tammy Kicker ([email protected]) 


Initial PlugFest PLUS Industry Day a Success

PlugFest PLUS was a great success with over 150 attendees and 12 vendor display tables.  The Air Force is now looking ahead to its next PlugFest PLUS where it envisions having the opportunity to award prototype contracts.

Read Synopsis of Accomplishments here

The Next Step for BTCC PFP

See the FedBizOps announcement on the next PFP here

AFEI is not involved in the next step for Bending the Cost Curve: Plugfest PLUS.  The Air Force plan is to conduct a virtual "fly off" of vendor submissions on May 20.  There will be no attendees or table displays, simply an Air Force evaluation vendor submissions.

Prototype contracts resulting from that PFP could be awarded through the OTA contract vehicle that the C5 Consortium has in place with the U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) at Picatinny Aresenal.  Should the Air Force pursue this route the only companies who will receive notice of a Request for Test Case and can submit capabilities to be tested through PFP are members of the C5 consortium.  Members must pay a fee and complete a Technology Initiative Agreement.  For more information on the ARDEC-C5 OTA initiative see their presentation slides on the Proceedings tab.

Vendors Access the Hanscom milCloud

If you are considering having a demonstration at the next PFP you will want to access the Hanscom milCloud (HmC) to become familiar with how it operates and what you are able to accomplish in that environment.  Access begins with PKI-enabled indentity certificate, either a DoD CAC card or a third-party ECA Cert.  Once you access HmC you can build, test and demonstrate software.  Review the HmC orchestration overview and asset development information on the Vendor Information Page.  There you will find information about the regularly scheduled overviews on orchestration and the DISA milCloud, as well as user training.

Bending The Cost Curve: PlugFest PLUS

Secretary JamesAir Force Secretary Deborah Lee James spoke on "Bending the Cost Curve" on Wednesday, January 14th at the Atlantic Council and NDIA Defense-Industrial Policy series.

PlugFest PLUS, she said, is one the the Air Force initiatives under Bending the Cost Curve three main focus areas - enhance, expand, and improve.  Watch the video here.

She also talked about the need to speed up acquisition and doing more with less.  She explained that Air Force Acquisition processes are too slow, result in higher costs and longer development times than are acceptable to fully support the warfighter. Through the Bending the Cost Curve initiative the Air Force will develop and implement a wide range of transformative reforms.

A key element of BTCC is that the Air Force is proactively engaging industry to gather input on avenues for truly meaningful reform.

How will the Air Force go about Bending the Cost Curve, particularly when it comes to the especially difficult problem of harvesting rapidly evolving commercial information technology?

One avenue is through an accelerated acquisition structure, called PlugFest Plus. Please plan to join us on January 20, 2015 at George Mason University, in Fairfax, Virginia to learn more about this innovative acquisition approach and how you and your company can be part of the solution!

FedBizOps Announcement

Synopsis:  Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) provides engineering leadership for the Secretary of the Air Force Bending the Cost Curve (BTCC) Plug Fest Plus (PFP) initiative.

PFP seeks insight from members of the Commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) Information Technology (IT) marketplace to help evolve fundamentally improved acquisition processes for rapid evolutionary development of open standards-based information systems.

PFP Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 activities will include a portfolio of rapid cycle open system component prototyping projects. Awards for project performers will be under the terms of an Other Transaction Agreement (OTA).  See the full announcement here

Why participate in the USAF Bending the Cost Curve Plug Fest Plus Event?

The Air Force is serious about measurably improving the speed-to-capability and capability-per-cost of its weapon system acquisitions.

The Bending the Cost Curve: PlugFest Plus event inserts your team into the mix of people, processes, and technologies that will execute funded rapid, adaptive, open system prototyping shortly after the event.


January 20, 2015

The program for the Bending the Cost Curve: PlugFest PLUS (BTCC PFP) day is organized around three specific activities:

Keynote and featured speakers, Workshops, Demonstrations


 8:30 AM


Welcome and Opening Remarks

Camron GorguinpourDr. Camron Gorguinpour
Director of Transformational Innovation for the United States Air Force, Office of the Assistant Secretary (Acquisitions)



 8:45 AM


Keynote Speaker

Dr. LaPlanteDr. William A. LaPlante
Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Acquisition)


 9:30 AM


PlugTesting in the Hanscom milCloud Demo 

Thomas Tschour, PCI Strategic Management
Joe Yennaco, PCI Strategic MAnagement
Peter Walsh from Jackpine Technologies

 10:30 AM

VIP Tour of PlugFest PLUS

 10:30 AM

Workshop Sessions


Other Transaction Agreement (OTA)

Kim Blancuzzi
Jim Frankovic



Open System Engineering

Ryan Durante, AFRL
Chris Gunderson, NPS


 12:30 PM


Industry Keynote

RodrigueraSergio Rodriguera, Jr.
Chief Strategy Officer
The Credit Junction


1:30 PM

Guided Tour of PlugFest PLUS

1:30 PM

Workshop Sessions Repeated


Other Transaction Agreement (OTA)

Open System Engineering

3:00 PM


Closing Keynote

George Duchak
Director of the Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate, Rome, N.Y.



 3:30 PM Vendor Booth Demos

George Mason University

Fairfax Campus
4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030

Johnson Center

The Air Force Bending the Cost Curve event is being held on the ground floor of the Johnson Center of GMU's Fairfax Campus.  Any PlugFest PLUS demonstrations will be held in Dewberry Hall and presentations will be held in the adjacent theater.

Download floor plan here.


GMU's Fairfax Campus is bounded by Rt 123 on the west and Braddock Road on the south. For maps and driving directions visit the GMU web site here.


All visitors to the Fairfax Campus are strongly encouraged to park in the Visitor Parking at either the Mason Pond, Shenandoah Parking Deck (formerly Sandy Creek Parking Deck), or Rappahannock River Parking Decks at the prevailing rates ($3 per hour, $14 per day). Visitors may also park at parking meters at the prevailing rates. See GMU Parking web site.

The closest parking areas to the Johnson Center are the Mason Pond and Shenandoah Parking Decks. Download GMU parking map here. The parking decks have Pay Kiosks prior to parking deck departure or you may pay at the exit booth. (Visa and Master Card accepted).



Online registration is now closed.

No NDIA Customer Number?

Create your Profile on the NDIA customer portal and after receiving your customer number then proceed to register for the event.

Registration Categories

  • Government Civilian and Active Duty Military
  • Academia (fulltime faculty of a University or College)
  • Industry Member of AFEI or NDIA
  • Industry Non-member

Government employees Registration
(Must register with .Gov or .Mil email address)*

Government employee ID badge must be shown to pickup your badge and registration materials at time of registration check-in. *Government registration only available for active-duty military and civilian government employees.

Academia Registration

Academic employee ID badge must be shown to pickup your badge and registration materials at time of registration check-in.

Industry Registration

Industry registrants are requested to show a government issued ID (driver's license) at the time of registration check-in.

Discounts available for groups of 5 or more industry attendees from the same organization. Contact registration support for necessary forms as this is not an online registration option.

Registration Type



No fee



AFEI Industry Member
(NDIA and affiliates)


Industry Non-Member


 * Not available to contractors

Commitment/Registration/Cancellation Policies

Registration Policy

Online registration will end COB January 15, 2015.
Need to register by Form? Contact Tammy Kicker for a registration form to be emailed. Cutoff date to register by form is also January 15, 2015.  Registration forms may be returned via email or fax listed on the form.

Registrations will not be taken over the phone; payment must be made at the time of registration. Registration will be available onsite.

Attendees will receive access to the agenda program, the workshops, and refreshments.  Lunch will be on-your-own in the Johnson Center Food Court.

Cancellation Policy

All cancellations or changes must be sent in writing to [email protected].  A full refund for paid registrations will be given up to COB December 15, 2014.  No refunds will be given after December 15.

Substitutions are welcome in lieu of cancellations. If change is made to correct a financial transaction (change credit card, etc.) there is a $25.00 process fee. Any substitution or cancellation must be made in writing to Tammy Kicker,

The Secretary of the Air Force has initiated the Bending the Cost Curve (BTCC) Initiative in response unsustainable to the weapons system costs and development time.

Through BTCC, Air Force acquisition leadership will engage industry and academia to demonstrate, and implement, best practices and novel acquisition techniques.

Enterprise Information Systems are a particular focus area for BTCC.  PlugFest Plus (PFP) is the subset of the BTCC initiative addressing IS acquisition.

Why Sponsor

Establish your company as an innovator and thought leader in transforming acquisition of Air Force information systems, and associate your company brand with this groundbreaking Air Force initiative?

Your sponsorship of this event will help assure its success and the development  of agile acquisition vehicle to convert demonstrated capabilities into funded development and procurement efforts. 

Who will attend

Senior Air Force and DoD Acquisition officials

Representatives from Air Force program offices

Representative from AFRL

Representatives from other services

Experts in OTA and open systems standards

Thought leaders and industry experts


Information Coming Soon!

Contact Tammy Kicker ([email protected]) for information on how to become a sponsor of Bending the Cost Curve: PlugFest PLUS.


Attendee Information

Registration Check-in
On event day, each participant will be issued a registration badge. All attendees must show identification upon check-in based on the registration type (noted under the registration tab). Badges must be worn throughout the entire event.

Onsite Registration
Attendees may register onsite on the day of the event.

International Attendance
Attendees from Allied nations and coalition partners are welcome to register to attend the event.

Appropriate dress for this conference is business casual for civilians and class B uniform for military.

Special Needs
AFEI supports the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Attendees with special needs or allergies/dietary restrictions should call or email Tammy Kicker, at 703-247-9494 or
[email protected].

Plug Fester's

For information on participating in the PlugFest PLUS demonstration and technical details regarding the PFP please contact any of the following:

Chris Gunderson, NPS ([email protected])

Eric Westreich, ESRI ([email protected])

Jeff Wallace, I2 Sentinel Associates ([email protected])

Air Force PFP Wiki Page

If you are interested in participating in PlugFest PLUS activities you should register at the PFP Wiki Page, which requires credentials to be passed from JPAS or other proof of citizenship prior to being granted access.  See the page on this site with information on the Air Force PFP Wiki

Information for Vendors

Plugfests are successful because of the vendors who bring their capabilities and expertise to show what they can do in an interoperable environment.  For this initial PlugFest PLUS the technical working group is working hard to develop an environment wherein vendors can demonstrate capabilities in several ways. 

Download the Vendor Registration Form here

Organizations participating in the PFP or wanting to have a display/exhibit must complete the form and include payment information. 

Government organizations may have a display table at no cost.

Information Package

To receive the on boarding information package for the PlugFest PLUS contact Dave Chesebrough ([email protected]).  The package contains documents and briefings on the PlugFest PLUS use case (FOUO), DARPA Insight (ITAR Restricted), the DCGS Integration Backbone, the GEOINT Workflow Enhancement, the PFP Technical overview, Hanscom milCloud and milCloud Orchestration.

How To Register for a Vendor Table

To register for a vendor table contact Tammy Kicker ([email protected]) to reserve a spot, then download and complete the vendor registration form.

Participation in PFP can be done by bringing your own system (either physically or cloud-hosted) or deploying on cloud assets provided by PFP.

Contact Dr. Jeffrey Wallace ([email protected]) for cloud access, and be prepared to provide virtual machine requirements.

Using some PFP cloud assets on the Hanscom milCloud will require access to PFP data, which is only available to milCloud users.  Vendors may opt to provide interesting demonstrations with their own unclassified datasets supporting Processing, Exploitation, and Dissemination (PED) workflows.

See the DARPA Insight briefing from the on boarding package for a description of the PFP data.

Access to the Hanscom milCloud requires either a DoD CAC card or ECA certificate.  For details see the BTCC PFP Tab, download the Technical Participation overview document or the Hanscom milCloud access process.

Operational Use Case and Data

The operational use case involves creation of intelligence products that are releasable across a variety of users who have different security rules and guidance.  Business rules for products must apply those rules and produce a coalition releasable product for analysts.  Details on the use case are available in the on-boarding package for vendors and are unclassified, restricted access.

The data being used for PlugFest PLUS will be data sets from the DARPA INSIGHT program providing automated exploitation and cross-cueing of multi-intelligence sources and loaded into repository on the Hanscom milCloud. 

There are two options presently that vendors can pursue for their demonstrations:

Option 1

Vendors may conduct demonstrations on their own systems (either physically at GMU or connected to their cloud.  Since the PFP data sets will only be available in ht eHanscom milCloud these demonstrations would not have use of this data as the milCloud only supports one-way data exchange and will not support pulling data out.

Option 2

Vendors may choose to access the Hanscom milCloud, create virtual resources and conduct their demonstrations

Using some PFP cloud assets on the Hanscom milCloud will be required to access PFP data, although interesting demonstrations with their own unclassified datasets supporting Processing, Exploitation, and Dissemination (PED) workflows can be used. See the DARPA Insight briefing from the on boarding package for a description of the PFP data.

PFP Demonstration

Vendors are invited to participate in the PFP demonstrations.  A full description of the technical objectives and requirements is being developed. 

The cost for a table in the demonstration area is $1,000.  This includes

  • 6’ skirted table, 2 chairs and one wastebasket
  • Electrical and wireless Internet connection
  • 2 complimentary booth personnel with full access to the BTCC PFP sessions

Contact Tammy Kicker ([email protected]) for more information.


Plug Fester's

For information on participating in the PlugFest PLUS demonstration and technical details regarding the PFP please contact any of the following:

Chris Gunderson, NPS ([email protected])

Eric Westreich, ESRI ([email protected])

Jeff Wallace, I2 Sentinel Associates ([email protected])


Plug Fester's Collaborative Portal

If you are interested in participating in PlugFest PLUS activities you should register at the Plug Fester's Collaborative Portal, which requires credentials to be passed from JPAS or other proof of citizenship prior to being granted access.

More information about the Air Force Bending the Cost Curve PlugFest PLUS is found by following the links below

What is PlugFest PLUS?

A “Plug Fest” is an industry best practice for validating and verifying (V&V) open system interoperability within a particular enterprise. Participating vendors “plug” their off-the-shelf hardware and/or software into a standards-based, instrumented, technology “Plug Test” harness. When applied to an information system, PlugFest participants are able to demonstrate their capabilities in live presentations or remotely from anywhere in the world – a virtual industry day.  more

PFP Infrastructure

A Plug Fest whose purpose is to validate and verify software and interoperability requires a hosting environment, or infrastructure, on which the applications run and data is hosted.

In a loosely coupled, services-oriented world that infrastructure can be virtual, with servers located in different places and software services that implement a defined set of API's. "The Cloud" is an embodiment of this concept.  more

Hanscom milCloud

Hanscom milCloud is a GFE infrastructure that is being considered as a PFP hosting environment. It provides access to the resources necessary to support & perform rapid, repeatable, agile, on-demand provisioning, building and testing of software systems. Users create on-demand development and test environments to support all their activities (code writing, scripting, debugging, performance testing, functional testing, operational testing, interoperability test and certification, and Information Assurance certification and accreditation).  more

ECA Certificate

Access to the Hanscom milCloud requires a CAC card or a valid ECA certificate.  See the following link for information on how to obtain an ECA cert.  more

PFP ISR Use Case/Mission Thread

Use Case for Rapid Evolutionary Open ISR System Acquisition

The BTCC PFP will demonstrate Commercial Off the Shelf (COTS) Information Technology best practices for open system evolution in ways that creatively comply with the laws and policies that govern government acquisition. more

Collaboration Wiki

The USAF Plug Fest Plus Confluence Space (Wiki) will allow for collaboration, lessons learned and knowledge management across all Plug Fest Plus efforts. more

Summary of Accomplishments from the first PlugFest PLUS, Jan 20, 2015 at George Mason University.



Presentations from PlugFest PLUS


PlugTesting in the Hanscom milCloud Demo

Thomas Tschour, PCI Strategic Management
Joe Yennaco, PCI Strategic Management
Peter Walsh from Jackpine Technologies



Other Transaction Agreement (OTA) Workshop

Kim Blancuzzi, US Army ARDEC
Jim Frankovic, CEED Consortium




Open System Engineering

Dr. Ryan Durante, AFRL
Chris Gunderson, NPS




Hosted By




 Sponsored by





Watch Interviews with Dr. Camron Gorguinpour and Chris Gunderson on the PlugFest PLUS

Watch Interviews


FedBizOps Notice

The Air Force has posted a notice about their plans for using PFP to select component prototype projects during 2015. Read the synopsis here.