The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) and the General Services Administration (GSA) have entered into a partnership to streamline acquisition of commercial satellite communications (SATCOM) services. Announced yesterday, the agreement will lead to a hybrid of GSA's multiple award schedules and indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (ID/IQ) contracts. Officials of both organizations are lauding this collaborative effort as "historic" and agree that the Future Commercial SATCOM Access contract will be worth $5 billion over a 10-year period.
The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) has had to juggle technologies to maintain effective service to its customers-the defense community. Both civilian and military Defense Department organizations depend on DISA for vital connectivity around the clock and around the globe. While the agency has been able to tap commercial capabilities to a greater degree, its customer demands-especially for bandwidth-have been growing faster than expected.
Keeping networks secure is one of the most important and challenging tasks for the U.S. Defense Department as it continues its morph into a network-centric force. The Defense Information Systems Agency’s Field Security Operations Division has the responsibility for ensuring the strength of those networks by certifying and testing them against threats. A few recent, and some gradual, changes have occurred to streamline the security process, as more systems connect into the Global Information Grid. The review process involves multiple levels of urgency along with a range of possible violations.
Leaps in technology innovation and changes in the business enterprise climate are transforming the military’s view of its primary information systems provider. Network stability, computing advances, increased financial transparency, enhanced governance and the compelling need to modernize systems are key instigators in this new perception—and exciting opportunities are likely to keep it going. But because supplying warfighters with bleeding-edge technologies quickly, flexibly and robustly can be an elusive goal, work continues in earnest to remain one step ahead of the next requirement.
The Defense Information Systems Agency has transformed its acquisition policy over the past several years, and the success of the new method has resulted in cost savings and faster deployments of capabilities. As new programs—both large and small—advance, the agency plans to be as open as possible with industry in an effort to create synergy that will generate the best solutions.
A major Defense Information Systems Agency program is serving as a transformational change agent for the U.S. Defense Department by blazing a path toward the much desired network-centric method of data sharing. The system, which enables military information exchange in a trusted environment with dynamic and flexible users and needs, already has begun providing capabilities to customers. It is about to enter the initial operational test and evaluation phase.
Not content with being a global service provider, the Defense Information Systems Agency is striving to extend its network to take advantage of new capabilities that it is introducing into the force. Many of these new capabilities magnify the power of the network as it reaches the tactical edge, and they may change the nature of communications and information flow.
The U.S. military is reducing excess and providing capabilities to personnel faster by implementing nontraditional contracts. The new arrangements allow the military to pay only for what it needs when it needs it and to take advantage of existing tools instead of duplicating efforts. The contracts enable the force to skip the cumbersome acquisition process and scale up services more quickly.
Invisible conflicts are erupting on the battlefield as U.S. and coalition troops compete for precious electromagnetic spectrum. These e-turf wars may be silent, but they can be as deadly as enemy fire when warfighters have to choose between disarming an improvised explosive device and calling for close-air support. To resolve this conflict, the U.S. Defense Department now has an organization whose primary mission is to ensure that all warfighters have the spectrum they need when they need it.
The convergence of media and services in commercial cyberspace has its counterpart in the defense arena, where experts are tapping commercial technologies and standards to provide seamless information access to warfighters and decision makers.