Opportunity At-a-Glance: Defense Air Force Strategic Transformation Support II (DAFSTS II)

Purchasing OrganizationThe Department of the Air Force (AF), Office of the Secretary of the Air Force, Office of Business Transformation (SAF/MG), and the Deputy Chief Management Officer (DCMO)
Estimated Release DateFebruary 2, 2024 (Estimate)
Award DateJune 2025
Value$3 – $5 billion
Period of PerformanceFive years
TypeFirm Fixed Price, Multiple Award IDIQ (Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity)
NAICS541611 Administrative Management and General Management Consulting Services Size Standard: $24.5 million annual receipts
Brief DescriptionThe contract will provide Advisory and Assistance Services (A&AS) to the Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force Office, Management (SAF/MG) and Deputy Chief Management Officer (DCMO), Air Force (AF), Department of Defense (DOD), and Federal Agencies. The contract provides for the transformative and incremental changes needed to support Air Force operational excellence. The changes address how people, processes, technology, data, and physical infrastructure can change to help the Air Force accomplish its mission requirements.
Deltek GovWin ID#227371

Who Should Bid and Why You Should Bid

Offerors should bid because this contract allows them to help the Air Force conduct groundbreaking transformational work in management and professional services, studies, research, analyses, and evaluations. In addition, the Air Force is making awards to any technically acceptable offerors.

However, prime offerors must have a Top-Secret Facility Clearance on the RFP release date without exception to bid. In addition, offerors can only be the prime on one of two tiers and cannot subcontract in the same or opposite tier. Joint Ventures (JVs) must not be part of a JV and be a prime/subcontractor.

Profile of Current Incumbents

The Air Force awarded the prior contract (AFSTS contracts (FA701423R0019)) to eight companies in June 2020 (KPMG LLP, Deloitte LLP, BAH, Definitive Logic, Accenture, McKinsey & Company, Grant Thornton, and BCG Federal Corp). To date, the Air Force has awarded more than $785 million in task orders on the contracts, and KPMG LLP, Deloitte, and BAH have won $522 million, or 66% of the total contract value. In addition, spending has increased dramatically on the contract, rising from $133 million in FY21 to $372 million in FY23, and is expected to rise on the next contract.

Scope of Work Description

Offerors can bid on Tier 1 or Tier 2 services. Both tiers require expertise in conducting studies, research, and analyses and developing transformational strategies in response to crises or problems. In addition, the Air Force requires experience advising and implementing business models, systems, or processes and experience advising senior leaders on transformational strategies and implementation plans.

Although Tier 1 and Tier 2 have similar requirements, Tier 1 requires experience with highly complex requirements, while Tier 2 focuses on “moderately complex experience.” To develop a compliant and responsive proposal, offers must understand the definitions associated with each tier, as described below:

  • Tier 1 Definition: The Air Force uses the term “highly complex, undefined, and unstructured problems” as problems that are usually large in scale with little context or definition provided. The Air Force defines “crisis scenarios” as issues requiring an immediate and dramatic response, usually making a step change essential. These requests usually require engagement across multiple stakeholder communities and usually have political or statutory impacts. In addition, there are (potentially) no existing best practices in government to leverage, and the initiatives are usually characterized by sudden, disruptive changes brought about by outside forces.
  • Tier 2 Definitions: The Air Force describes “moderate to complex problems” as requirements that are complex but are usually understood with a goal defined. The scope may involve stakeholders internal and external to the Federal Government but is usually limited to the requiring organization. The challenges are usually not political and usually have no statutory impact. The coordination and collaboration effort needed to resolve the problem is challenging and requires more time to complete.
    Responses to these efforts usually require a progressive evolution, emphasizing continuous improvements. These initiatives are also usually introduced in response to internal needs. Still, they are generally characterized by an urgent challenge to the status quo, such as a sudden organizational restructuring or the introduction of a new strategic initiative.

Tips on Preparing Your Proposal

The Air Force detailed the bid’s evaluation criteria in the DAFSTS II Acquisition Strategy on November 16, 2023. Offerors can use this guidance to assemble all the materials they need to bid before the RFP release. It’s essential that offerors read the evaluation criteria carefully and quickly make bid/no bid decisions because the Air Force is specific in defining the thresholds for its evaluation criteria.

While the criteria are steep, the Air Force is cutting small businesses slack by enabling them to claim subcontractor past performance to fulfill the past performance requirements. After assembling the document, companies should carefully review their response for compliance with the instructions, responsiveness to the requirements, and strengths in their solution.

Initial Gate

To produce a successful proposal, offerors must pass the initial gate by providing the following information:

  • Make a Tier declaration
  • Possess an Active Top-Secret Facility Clearance (at the time of the RFP release)
  • Submit a Subcontracting Plan/Corporate Subcontracting Plan (applicable to large businesses primes only

Multi-volume Proposal Submission (Five Subfactors)

Factor 1: Technical Approach

After passing the initial gate, offerors must produce a multi-volume proposal consisting of five subfactors. A description of the requirements and evaluation factors for each subfactor follows.

Subfactor 1 – Technical Scenarios (Oral)
  1. Instructions: Respond to technical scenarios given the template provided in the RFP.
    1. First Scenario: Provide a written PWS (10-page limit) and brief technical approach presentation.
    1. Second Scenario: Provide an oral response to a scenario provided by the Air Force within 47 hours. The response is limited to 30 minutes with an unlimited number of slides.
    1. Evaluation Criteria: Graded on a scale of Acceptable/Unacceptable. The government defines Acceptable as an exceptional approach and understanding of the requirements and contains multiple strengths that, in the government’s assessment, combine to successfully present a highly advantageous solution.
Subfactor 2 – Corporate Experience
  • Instructions: Provide corporate experience in response to the following requirements. All past performance references must have been performed within the last three (3) years from the RFP date of issuance and provide point of contact information.
    • Provide two (2) transformation examples (cannot be client-caused issues, and the prime cannot use the subcontractor’s experience).
    • Provide two (2) submissions of successfully translated commercial (private sector) best practices to a government issue (public sector) (you can use one subcontractor’s example, and small businesses can use their experience as a subcontractor).
    • Provide Ten (10) submissions of private sector transformation efforts (the prime must have the preponderance of examples, and small businesses can use their experience as a subcontractor, but their experience as a subcontractor can’t exceed three examples).
    • Evaluation Criteria: Graded on a scale of Acceptable/Unacceptable. Acceptable means the proposal meets the requirements of the solicitation.
Subfactor 3 – Small Business Participation Plan (applicable to all offerors)
  • Instructions: The plan must describe the extent to which such firms are specifically identified in the proposal and the complexity and variety of the work small firms are to perform. The plan must address the incorporation of Non-traditional Small Businesses (NTSB) and a training program for NTSBs.
    • Evaluation Criteria: Graded on a scale of Acceptable/Unacceptable. Acceptable means the proposal meets the requirements of the solicitation.
Subfactor 4 – Management/Capacity Plan and Financial Viability
  • Instructions: Describe your ability to propose and maintain a high level of performance on a high volume of task orders per year. In Tier 1: manage proposals/awards for an average 20 task orders per year, with no more than 2 no-bids per ordering year. In Tier 2: Manage proposals/awards on an average 50 task orders per year, no more than 5 no-bids per ordering year. In addition, provide the following:
    • Description of financial viability based on the Dun & Bradstreet Failure Score
    • Plan to handle the breadth of transformational tasks
    • Plan to manage multiple task orders across multiple locations simultaneously
    • Risk Mitigation Plan
    • D&B Failure Report (Core +)
    • Evaluation Criteria: Graded on a scale of Acceptable/Unacceptable. Acceptable means the proposal meets the requirements of the solicitation.
Subfactor 5 – Senior Leader Transformation Forums
  • Instructions: Describe your ability to plan and conduct transformation based on the provided topic.
    • Evaluation Criteria: Graded on a scale of Acceptable/Unacceptable. Acceptable means the proposal meets the requirements of the solicitation.

Cautionary Notes for Winners

According to the Air Force, winners can be off-ramped if they do not bid on enough task orders per year, exhibit poor performance, or their CPARS falls below satisfactory on any two task orders over the entire ordering period. Winners can also be off-ramped if they mismanage small business subcontractors, do not meet small business subcontracting goals, mismanage the NTSB program, or do not win at least one award per year.


DAFSTS II represents a great opportunity for firms capable of navigating its complex requirements and stringent security prerequisites. Valued between $3 billion and $5 billion and spanning five years, this contract is a chance for companies to engage in transformative work vital to the Air Force’s operational excellence. With a focus on management consulting services, it calls for sophisticated advisory and assistance services that will shape the future of Air Force operations.

While the process involves multiple tiers of service requirements and a rigorous evaluation of technical, corporate, and management capabilities, successful bidders will be pivotal in driving the Air Force’s innovative transformation strategies forward. The substantial increase in contract spending and the high bar set for incumbents underline this contract’s significance and potential impact. For firms with the necessary credentials and expertise, DAFSTS II is not just a contract but a gateway to influencing critical defense strategies at the highest level.

Links to other relevant articles: 2024 Mega Bids

By Brenda Crist, Vice President at Lohfeld Consulting Group, MPA, CPP APMP Fellow

Lohfeld Consulting Group has proven results specializing in helping companies create winning captures and proposals. As the premier capture and proposal services consulting firm focused exclusively on government markets, we provide expert assistance to government contractors in Capture Planning and Strategy, Proposal Management and Writing, Capture and Proposal Process and Infrastructure, and Training. In the last 3 years, we’ve supported over 550 proposals winning more than $170B for our clients—including the Top 10 government contractors. Lohfeld Consulting Group is your “go-to” capture and proposal source! Start winning by contacting us at www.lohfeldconsulting.com and join us on LinkedInFacebookYouTube(TM) and X (Twitter).

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Brenda Crist