DISA

June 29, 2010
By George Seffers

The Defense Information Systems Agency issued a bridge extension for three Joint Interoperability Test Command multiple-award Omnibus contracts-two held by Northrop Grumman, and another by Interop Joint Venture II. Set to expire August 31, the contracts will be extended six months with three two-month option periods. The extension will add up to $70 million to each contract, changing the total contract ceilings from $1.05 billion to $1.12 billion.

June 9, 2010
By Henry Kenyon

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), Washington, D.C., has chosen Henry Sienkiewicz as chief information officer and Paige Atkins as director of DISA's Strategic Planning and Information Directorate.

March 5, 2010
By Katie Packard

"The difference there is [that] we don't want to prioritize and think just in terms of 'how do we secure information' without thinking through our real objective of assuring support for DOD missions."--Mark Orndorff, director of the PEO for Mission Assurance and Network Operations, DISA

Find out what Orndorff is talking about by reading the full article, available on SIGNAL Online.

January 27, 2010
By Beverly Schaeffer

Star Wars character Han Solo said, "Traveling through hyperspace ain't like crop dusting." The same can be said about cyberspace-with regard to security. The valuable harvest growing from social media includes information sharing and networking opportunities-and developers of the military/government colleague network DEFStar want to settle the dust surrounding social media phobias of government leaders. Fear still abounds that social media sites for government use are too vulnerable to breaches.

October 21, 2009
By Maryann Lawlor

A person recognizable to anyone who has been in military information technology for a few years offered MILCOM 2009 attendees insights into where the Defense Information Systems Agency is headed. Tony Montemarano, component acquisition executive, DISA, revealed that the agency is working on a campaign plan in which the word "convergence" is used time and time again. The plan, which is in the midst of final modifications, comprises three lines of operations: enterprise infrastructure, command and control, and information sharing.

August 7, 2009
By Henry Kenyon

Top Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) officials met with industry today to share their strategy and plans for the future. Lt. Gen. Carroll F. Pollett, USA, director, DISA told attendees at the Forecast to Industry Day that the agency is looking to the commercial sector to engage with DISA's leaders and help shape the future. Although he is considering developments in the short term-four to five years-he is especially focused on where the military and the United States will be 10 years from now as he makes plans and fills current requirements.

August 7, 2009

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 partnership has been years in the making, GSA and DISA officials allowed.

April 14, 2009
By Beverly Schaeffer

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. SIGNAL Magazine's April 2009 issue takes a look at how DISA is meeting the challenge of customer service while laying the groundwork for potential future requirements.

December 5, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

The first wave of testing of the U.S. Defense Department’s joint regional security stacks now underway at military bases in Texas and Europe shows the hardware and software tasked with improved protection of the department’s network, expected to deliver unprecedented cyber situational awareness, is on track to deliver as anticipated, according to the department's acting chief information officer.

January 1, 2015
By Sandra Jontz

The Internet of Things, the latest iteration of the overarching dream of an omnipresent network architecture, offers an uncertain future in both opportunities and challenges. That uncertainty is growing as the network concept itself expands in scope and reach.

The perpetual quest for convenience and expedience brought about technology that has connected billions of devices that produce and share vast amounts of information, from an infant’s sleeping habits to space mission data. What happens to the data, how it is managed, by whom and with whom, and how it might be safeguarded pose privacy and safety concerns for security experts and government officials.

October 29, 2014
George I. Seffers

Terry Halvorsen, the Defense Department’s acting chief information officer, is expected very soon to release a new policy revising the role the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) plays in brokering cloud services. The changes are designed to speed cloud service acquisitions by preventing bottlenecks created by having only one agency act as broker. DISA no longer will be the sole acquisition agency, but it will continue to ensure network access to cloud service providers is secure and reliable, agency officials say.

October 8, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

After much anticipation and preparation, the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), along with the U.S. Army and Air Force, successfully migrated network traffic through the first of several Joint Regional Security Stacks (JRSS) at Joint Base San Antonio, according to an agency press statement released Wednesday.

The JRSS upgrade is a step toward the realization of the colossal concept of connecting the entirety of the Defense Department’s network system under the Joint Information Environment (JIE).

November 1, 2014
By Sandra Jontz
The Defense Information Systems Agency command center at Fort Meade, Maryland, in 2013.

There are no do-overs when it comes to safeguarding the U.S. military’s sensitive data. With that key, concise and blunt notion in mind, defense leaders say they are taking a slow, methodical, multipronged approach as the Defense Information Systems Agency develops a cloud security model for the whole of the Defense Department.

With current security controls too strict and limiting, agency personnel are sleuthing for the ideal balance that would let a greater number of commercial cloud service providers compete for billions in federal funding, while still safeguarding national security. Their goal is to determine what might be safe—and what might be safe enough.

September 23, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

Having a single agency act as the cloud broker for the whole of the U.S. Defense Department's migration to commercial cloud services slowed the process too much, prompting a policy change to divvy up the duties among the services, says the department's acting chief information officer (CIO).

“The current status is [the Defense Information Systems Agency] DISA is still officially the cloud broker, because the memo is not out,” acting CIO Terry Halvorsen said Tuesday during a media roundtable discussion. “But we are going to make changes to DISA’s cloud broker role. The memo should be out by the end of October, maybe even a little sooner.

September 1, 2014
By George I. Seffers

The widespread use of mobile devices on the battlefield, which may have seemed an improbability just a few years ago, may become an actuality within the next few. A recently released strategy document supports that pending reality, which is expected to increase situational awareness, improve operational effectiveness and enhance the operational advantage for U.S. forces.

“I don’t think it’s going to be 10 or 15 years before these devices are going to be the preponderance of what we see on the battlefield. We’re probably three to four years away from that,” says John Hickey, Defense Department mobility portfolio manager, Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA).

July 1, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman
Lt. Gen. Ronnie D. Hawkins Jr., USAF (l), director, Defense Information Systems Agency, and Lt. Gen. Mark S. Bowman, J-6, The Joint Staff, offer presentations at the JIE Mission Partner Symposium.

The shrinking military cannot achieve mission success without the advances promised by the Joint Information Environment, U.S. Defense Department leaders say. Yet the effort itself depends on innovative advances that may lead to changes in doctrine and operations if—and when—they are incorporated into the force.

July 1, 2014
By George I. Seffers
DARPA’s Advanced Radio Frequency Mapping (RadioMap) program seeks to provide real-time awareness of radio spectrum use across frequency, geography and time.

U.S. Defense Department officials intend to complete a departmentwide spectrum strategy road map this month, which will make more frequencies available to warfighters, provide greater flexibility—especially for international operations—and ultimately allow warfighters to conduct their missions more effectively. At the same time, however, some are suggesting a nationwide strategy to allow for more innovative and effective spectrum management and sharing across government and industry.

July 1, 2014
By George I. Seffers
Army vehicles are required to carry jammers to counter improvised explosive devices. Researchers seek technological solutions to prevent the devices from interfering with friendly force communications and use spectrum more efficiently.

The complexities of the U.S. Army’s networks and spectrum allocation processes interfere with the need to reassign units to different tasks, creating major delays and presenting serious challenges. To solve the issue, researchers intend to deliver a wide range of technologies, including automated spectrum planning and allocation tools and smarter radios, that will use spectrum more efficiently, network more effectively and provide commanders the flexibility to reorganize as needed.

May 1, 2014
by Kent R. Schneider

Anyone following the progress of the Joint Information Environment (JIE) knows by now that it is not a program of record. No one will see large procurements to provide the JIE. It definitely is a framework: it defines standards and architectures for consistency across the defense environment. It defines a core environment and interfaces for the connection of networks and systems to the core. The JIE leverages initiatives to consolidate networks and data centers, to establish enterprise services and to implement transitional technologies such as cloud implementations, mobility, security solutions, big data and analytics, and the Internet of everything.

May 1, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman
A  U.S. Navy sailor monitors communications aboard an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer. The Defense Department’s JIE builds on communications and networking advances within the individual services.

The Defense Department drive toward its Joint Information Environment is picking up speed as it progresses toward its goal of assimilating military networks across the warfighting realm. Individual services are developing solutions, some of which are targeted for their own requirements, that are being applied to the overarching goal of linking the entire defense environment.

Early successes in Europe have advanced Joint Information Environment (JIE) efforts elsewhere, including the continental United States. Some activities have been accelerated as a result of lessons learned, and they have been implemented ahead of schedule in regions not slated to receive them for months or even years.

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