HTX Labs' EMPACT® Awarded Authority To Operate By The US Air Force

December 21, 2022

HTX Labs' EMPACT Immersive Learning Platform has officially been granted Authority to Operate (ATO) from the United States Air Force (USAF) to run Impact Level 2 (IL2) security level data on USAF Networks and is on the fast track to an IL4 ATO by summer 2023.

This ATO authorization of EMPACT as the first Virtual Reality (VR) training system within the US Air Force Air Education and Training Command(AETC) to run on AFNET and NIPERNet, or secure networks of IP used to communicate and exchange unclassified information, is a historic decision. HTX has been diligently working to secure this ATO and will move forward over the next 6 months to expand the ATO to allow EMPACT to operate on NIPRNet at an IL4security level.

Similar to other government agencies, the USAF performs a threat risk assessment of all Information Technology (IT) prior to granting an ATO on AFNet through the Risk Management Framework (RMF). To aid in this process, HTX Labs brought on Ingalls Information Security to serve as Information Systems Security Manager (ISSM), Information System Security Officer (ISSO), and trusted advisor to develop HTX’s DoD RMF process for this effort. HTX’s partnership with Ingalls along with the dedicated support provided by AETC Advanced Force Development Technologies (AFDT) were critical to achieving this milestone.

While EMPACT has been driving training transformation across the US Air Force since 2019, this ATO provides a groundbreaking opportunity for Airmen to ‘own their future’, allowing them to rapidly create and sustain immersive training programs at scale. Obtaining this ATO is also a monumental achievement for HTX, as it necessitates stringent cybersecurity compliance and substantial coordination with Department of Defense policies and standards to enable the rapid development and delivery of virtual models and 3D assets and VR training lessons through EMPACT’s secure and centralized platform.

“Adoption and normalization of immersive technology is growing at an increasing pace and HTX is elated to be the first provider of a VR training platform to receive authority to operate on NIPRNet within AETC." said HTX Labs President, Chris Verret," Our partnership with AETC and AFDT to modernize critical training and reduce the barrier to scaling and sustaining immersive content for Airmen across the USAF has been a huge success. As most who attempt an ATO know, this has been a substantial effort and our success is in large part due to the dedication of our team for creating and delivering a game-changing immersive learning platform as well as key support from AFDT and Ingalls.”.