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USAF migrates air tasking software into cloud

A US Air Force KC-46A Pegasus tanker conducts air-to-air refuelling with a US Air Force F-16 over the Canadian Arctic in March 2021. Service leaders migrated the MAFPS system for air mobility operations into the cloud. (North American Aerospace Defense)

The US Air Force (USAF) and BAE Systems have successfully migrated the air service's premier planning and tasking software for mobility operations into a cloud computing environment, marking one of the first mission-critical air force programmes to be transitioned into the cloud.

The Mobility Air Forces Automated Flight Planning Service (MAFPS) is the primary air planning tool used by Air Mobility Command (AMC) to support air tasking orders (ATO) for air refuelling and material transport operations across the globe. The primary users of the MAFPS programme are airmen assigned to the AMC's 618th Air Operation Center (AOC) at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois, as well as the 603rd AOC at US Air Forces in Europe and the 608th AOC headquartered at US Pacific Air Forces.

“MAFPS has many hundreds of users that rely on its availability all day, every day, [through] rain, snow, sunshine, or whatever the case may be. It has to work [because] the sun never sets on MAFPS users,” said BAE Systems' senior programme manager Drew Puryear, who oversaw the cloud migration effort.

“It was really important that we provided that really high level of availability and high assurance to our users that ... when the product is being used, it's going to provide the answers that they're expecting,” he told Janes , regarding the additional pressure facing programme engineers tasked with migrating the mission-critical software system into the cloud.

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