DISA

April 28, 2022
By Kimberly Underwood
The extent of global cyber attacks in 2021 reached a level, complexity and sophistication not seen before, experts say. Credit: Shutterstock/supimol kumying

Cybersecurity officials from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States issued an advisory April 27 disclosing the most common digital vulnerabilities and exposures routinely leveraged by cyber attackers in 2021. Of the top 15 software vulnerabilities identified across all of the countries, Microsoft products accounted for nine such issues.

The United States’ Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, National Security Agency and FBI collaborated with the Australian Cyber Security Centre, Canadian Centre for Cyber Security, New Zealand National Cyber Security Centre and United Kingdom’s National Cyber Security Centre to issue the advisory.

April 28, 2022
By George I. Seffers
Sharon Woods, director of DISA's Digital Hosting and Computing Center, shown during a panel discussion at TechNet Cyber 2022, also updated reporters on the status of Stratus, a hybrid, on-premise cloud computing program to replace milCloud 2.0 during a media roundtable at the event.  Photo by Michael Carpenter

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is delivering the first application under its fledgling cloud computing program known as Stratus.

Stratus is a hybrid, on-premise cloud computing program in the prototypical stages. It is intended to replace milCloud 2.0, which got the ax after DISA Director Lt. Gen. Robert Skinner, USAF, initiated a strategic assessment of programs. Officials looked for best value capabilities and wanted to be introspective and “really honest about how we deliver the best value capabilities to the warfighter,” Sharon Woods, director of DISA’s Digital Hosting and Computing Center, told reporters during a media roundtable discussion at the AFCEA TechNet conference in Baltimore April 26-28.

April 28, 2022
By Kimberly Underwood
Michelle Lee, director, Threat Intelligence at Lumen Technologies (l) and Caroline Kuharske, acting chief data officer, Defense Information Systems Agency, converse during a sesison at AFCEA’s TechNet Cyber 2022. Photo by Michael Carpenter

As the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) embraces a more data-centric vision, the agency is developing policies for enhanced data management and identifying necessary technical capabilities to support agency operations, and improved decision making and operability for warfighters, said Caroline Kuharske, DISA acting chief data officer, on April 27 speaking with Michelle Lee, director, Threat Intelligence at Lumen Technologies, during AFCEA’s TechNet Cyber conference in Baltimore.

April 28, 2022
By George I. Seffers
Stephen Wallace, chief technology officer and director of DISA’s Emerging Technology Directorate, shown during a session of TechNet Cyber 2022, told reporters during a media roundtable at the conference that his organization already is evaluating future capabilities for the next generation of Thunderdome. Photo by Michael Carpenter

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is still in the prototyping stage with its zero-trust solution but already is looking ahead to the next version.

Thunderdome, the prototype being developed by Booz Allen Hamilton under a six-month contract awarded in January, is DISA’s solution for implementing zero-trust cybersecurity. It is a comprehensive effort requiring cooperation across the agency, as well as with the military services, combatant commands and others.

April 27, 2022
By Sandra Jontz
DISA officials discuss the agency’s priorities during a panel discussion at AFCEA’s TechNet Cyber 2022. Photo by Michael Carpenter

Meeting technology priorities—at cost, at speed and using what’s already in inventory—coupled with better workforce development initiatives were some of the headline objectives of center directors from the Defense Information Systems Agency, or DISA.

April 27, 2022
By Kimberly Underwood
The Department of Defense needs to begin to prepare now for future quantum-resistent cryptological algorithms that will need to be quickly upgraded into existing IT infrastructure to protect against adversarial decryption, warns Deepak Seth, DISA’s chief engineer, Emerging Technologies Directorate. Photo by Michael Carpenter

The United States is developing new algorithms to protect against the adversary’s future—powerful quantum computing that will be able to break into currently encrypted systems and data. Led by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, or NIST, seven advanced algorithms are being considered for use as standardized methods. The Defense Information Systems Agency, or DISA, is working with NIST and Defense Department leaders to implement the quantum-resistant cryptography solutions, when ready, into military use, said Deepak Seth, DISA’s chief engineer, Emerging Technologies Directorate.

The chief engineer spoke on April 27 at AFCEA’s TechNet Cyber conference in Baltimore, being held April 26-28.

April 26, 2022
By George I. Seffers
Recent lessons learned from the Defense Information Systems Agency's Thunderdome program include the need to move more quickly to implement zero trust on the Defense Department's classified network known as SIPRNet. Credit: ArtemisDiana/Shutterstock

The U.S. Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) intends to double down on the security of its classified networks in the coming months as it experiments with the zero-trust prototype known as Thunderdome.

Julian Breyer, DISA’s senior enterprise and security architect, reported a change in priorities while discussing Thunderdome during a panel session at AFCEA’s TechNet Cyber conference in Baltimore, April 26.

April 26, 2022
By Nuray Taylor
Credit: enzozo/Shutterstock

By the end of 2022, leaders at the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) anticipate having a production decision as part of its zero-trust prototype officials call Thunderdome, Brian Hermann, director of the agency’s Cyber Security and Analytics Directorate, said during a micro-keynote session Tuesday during AFCEA’s annual TechNet Cyber conference, taking place April 26-28 in Baltimore. 

April 26, 2022
By Kimberly Underwood
Army Deputy Chief of Staff G-6 Lt. Gen. John Morrison, USA, shown at the Pentagon, was a keynote speaker at TechNet Cyber 2022.

The Army’s Unified Network, which will enable the service to deliver the strategic, operational and tactical effects that maneuver commanders need across joint and coalition operations, is advancing, said Lt. Gen. John Morrison, USA, deputy chief of staff and the Army G-6, speaking at AFCEA’s TechNet Cyber conference in Baltimore on April 26.

April 26, 2022
By Kimberly Underwood
DISA Director Lt. Gen. Robert Skinner, USAF, addresses the audience at TechNet Cyber 2022.  Photo by Michael Carpenter

The need to address solution gaps has the attention of the director of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA). The agency’s leader, Lt. Gen. Robert Skinner, USAF, who is also commander of the Joint Force Headquarters-Department of Defense Information Network, has spent the last year reorganizing, setting strategic goals and identifying key lines of effort. Next up is tackling a wish list of nagging gaps or areas in which technology is negatively impacting warfighter operations, and Gen. Skinner is calling on warfighters and industry to assist with innovative solutions.

April 8, 2022
DISA's Chief Data Officer Takes Charge
The Defense Information Systems Agency’s new office to handle data is striving to advance the agency’s and warfighters’ data-driven capabilities, says Acting Chief Data Officer Caroline Kuharske. Credit: DISA photo with Chris D’Elia graphics

With the creation of its first Chief Data Office, the U.S. Defense Information Systems Agency is stepping into a more data-centric vision. The need for enhanced data management, technologies and policies is necessary to support greater ventures of agency operations and improved decision making and operability for warfighters, explained Caroline Kuharske, acting chief data officer, Defense Information Systems Agency.

April 1, 2022
By Kimberly Underwood
To meet the growing demand from warfighters confronting near-peer adversaries, the Hosting and Compute Center at the Defense Information Systems Agency is updating its resources in the Indo-Pacific Region. DISA

The Defense Information Systems Agency’s new Hosting and Compute Center is pushing to advance innovation, provide modern-day “products” to warfighters, and ultimately, a global fabric of computer power and data storage. With a 2,000-person workforce, the Hosting and Compute Center has a heavy agenda, including managing the U.S. Defense Department’s large-scale commercial cloud endeavor, the Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability; overseeing the department’s data centers; advancing agile computer development; and providing the hosting and compute for Joint All-Domain Command and Control, among other measures.

April 1, 2022
By Robert K. Ackerman
An Alaska Air National Guard tech sergeant tests his radio communications in harsh conditions. The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is speeding up efforts to incorporate transformational technologies into all aspects of defense information systems. U.S. Air Force

The Defense Information Systems Agency is trying to accelerate the pace of change by incorporating transformational technology into its operations. Emerging capabilities such as 5G will find their way into DISA services, but the agency also is partnering with industry to develop and leverage new capabilities to meet burgeoning operational needs.

April 1, 2022
By Robert K. Ackerman
NATO’s Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoana, along with a group of alliance ambassadors, visits the NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance Force in Sigonella. The U.S. Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is working with its NATO allies to improve communications across the breadth of alliance activities and systems.  NATO

The battle for cyberspace may hinge on outer space as experts expand the digital frontier. The leading U.S. military communications organization is working with partners in NATO to exploit and dominate space communication systems with an eye to hurling defense systems into an advanced technology future.

April 1, 2022
By George I. Seffers
The Defense Information Systems Agency created teams with representatives from across the agency to help define its zero trust-solution known as Thunderdome. By enhancing interagency communication and operation, the approach may change the way DISA does business.  Tartila/Shutterstock

Thunderdome, the Defense Information Systems Agency’s zero-trust solution, may enhance cybersecurity while also transforming the way the agency does business.

March 31, 2022
By Maryann Lawlor
U.S. Army leaders detail the capabilities of the Joint Task Force-Civil Support common operating picture during a Joint All-Domain Command and Control System demonstration. The system synergizes multiple data feeds through real-time end-user reporting and collaborative planning. Photo Courtesy of the Defense Department

Leaders of the agency serving the services’ technology needs aims to balance cybersecurity and ease of use. Development of current and future capabilities focus on simplifying access as well as facilitating data and network protection.

As a lead up to Technet Cyber 2022, key Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) directors are sharing their insights during weekly webinars to preview their priorities for attendees and exhibitors alike. The conference takes place next month in Baltimore.

March 23, 2022
Henry S. Kenyon

In times of global crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is working to make sure the U.S. Defense Department’s communications networks are running securely to provide leaders and warfighters with the information they need.

A key aspect of this is velocity of action, using innovation and initiative to gain an advantage over adversaries, DISA officials told SIGNAL Magazine Editor in Chief Robert Ackerman during the first of a series of TechNet Cyber 2022 webinars.

March 1, 2022
 

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) announced on February 28th that it had selected Reston, Virginia-based Leidos, Inc., for its Defense Enclave Services (DES) four-year, indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract, with a ceiling value of $11.5 billion.

February 28, 2022
By Robert K. Ackerman
Damien J. Terry is the chief diversity officer for DISA.

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is striving to diversify its workforce by working both within and without. Its efforts include querying existing workers for information about the work environment and laying the groundwork for bringing in new people from nontraditional sources.

These activities are coming from the newly created DISA Diversity Office. Damien J. Terry, chief diversity officer for DISA, explains that the office is pursuing a multifaceted approach to improving diversity at the agency. This includes tapping existing expertise among DISA employees and establishing mechanisms for future hires—effectively, a detailed program for recruitment and retention.

February 23, 2022
By Kimberly Underwood
DISA Director Lt. Gen. Robert Skinner, USAF, shown here at a military retirement ceremony, discussed the agency’s technology needs at the 2022 Rocky Mountain Cyberspace Symposium.

Amidst a complex global geopolitical environment, the Defense Information Systems Agency, or DISA, is progressing in how it provides communication and information technology as a U.S. Department of Defense combat support agency. The agency is pulling in advanced and updated technologies to support the nation’s leaders, warfighters and U.S. combatant commands against near-peer adversaries.

January 25, 2022
Posted by George I. Seffers
Under a newly awarded contract from the Defense Information Systems Agency, Booz Allen Hamilton will develop a prototypical zero-trust solution as part of the Thunderdome program. Credit: Olivier Le Moal/Shutterstock

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) has announced the award of a $6.8 million contract to Booz Allen Hamilton for a Thunderdome prototype, a zero-trust security model.

During this six-month effort, the agency will operationally test how to implement DISA’s Zero Trust Reference Architecture, published in March 2020 for the Defense Department, by taking advantage of commercial technologies such as secure access service edge (SASE) and software-defined wide area networks (SD-WANs). Thunderdome will also incorporate greater cybersecurity centered around data protection and integrate with existing endpoint and identity initiatives aligned to zero trust, according to the press release.

December 14, 2021
 

Competitive Range Solutions LLC (CRS),* Chicago, Illinois, was awarded a competitive, single award, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract with a ceiling of $400,000,000 that includes fixed-price and cost-contract-type pricing arrangements for Technologies Refreshment and Implementation-Global Solutions Management, which provides technology refreshment, implementation, integration, and transition to operations activities in support of the Department of Defense Information Network/Defense Information System Network.

December 15, 2021
 
The #1 most-read SIGNAL article of the year covered how the U.S. Army’s 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne) is looking to fill vital cyber and communications gaps.

Which articles from our SIGNAL Media team caught your eye this past year? Check out the top 10 most-read articles from 2021.

1. Special Forces Command Seeks Key Data Aggregation, Cyber Tools
By Kimberly Underwood, February 17, 2021

December 1, 2021
By George I. Seffers
Officials across the U.S. government are releasing guidance documents and assisting departments and agencies in the adoption of zero-trust cybersecurity architectures. The OMB is considered the team captain for zero trust, and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency within the DHS is compiling lessons learned for inclusion in a zero-trust playbook to be released early next year.  Illustration design by Chris D’Elia based on artwork by Phase4Studios & Yaran/Shutterstock

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency may soon release an initial playbook for departments and agencies to follow while transitioning to a zero-trust cybersecurity architecture. The new guidance will be based on lessons learned from various pilot programs across the government.

November 8, 2021
 

Alpha Communications Services, Fairfax Station, Virginia, was awarded a competitive, single-award indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract with a ceiling value of $40,000,000 for the provision of non-personal services for audiovisual, visual information, video teleconference, and videophone support services in support of the Defense Information Systems Agency and the Department of Defense Fourth Estate agencies. The first task order, valued at $14,435,734, is funded by fiscal 2022 operations and maintenance funds. Primary performance will be at Defense Information Systems Agency headquarters, Fort Meade, Maryland.  Proposals were solicited via the sam.gov website, and three proposals were received.

November 1, 2021
By George I. Seffers
U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors fly alongside an Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker during training near Mount Fuji, Japan, earlier this year. U.S. Indo-Pacific Command is building a mission partner environment that will allow greater interoperability between U.S. forces and international partners and allies in the region. Credit: Air Force Senior Airman Rebeckah Medeiros

The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command will deliver an initial mission partner environment next summer. The capability ultimately will allow U.S. forces to access classified and unclassified networks with one device. It also will provide more effective information sharing with allies and coalition forces.

November 1, 2021
By Jennifer A. Miller

When I hear of zero trust, I think of “In God We Trust,” the motto printed on U.S. currency and Florida’s official motto. More than just a buzzword phrase, though, zero trust is better understood as an approach to security.

October 28, 2021
By George I. Seffers
Stephen Wallace, DISA’s chief technology officer and director of the agency’s Emerging Technologies Directorate, addresses TechNet Cyber in Baltimore. Photo by Michael Carpenter

The U.S. Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is assessing the possibility of using process automation bots to perform a variety of mundane tasks, saving substantial time for the agency’s human employees.

The agency has been working with robotic process automation (RPA) tools for about three years for finance-related tasks and is now assessing the use of automation bots for other purposes, according to Stephen Wallace, DISA’s chief technology officer and director of the agency’s Emerging Technologies Directorate.

October 28, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
Alan Rosner, program manager, Joint Spectrum Center, Defense Spectrum Organization, at DISA, speaks at TechNet Cyber 2021 in Baltimore. Photo by Michael Carpenter

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is developing an important solution to provide clear situational awareness for electromagnetic spectrum, or EMS, operations. The agency expects to roll out an initial version of the Electromagnetic Battle Management System, or EMBM, next spring, according to Alan Rosner, program manager, Joint Spectrum Center, Defense Spectrum Organization, at DISA.

Rosner spoke during a panel session of AFCEA International’s TechNet Cyber conference in Baltimore in October 27.

October 27, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
Lt. Gen. Robert Skinner, USAF, director, DISA, and commander JFHQ-DODIN, discusses the reorganization of DISA during the opening keynote of TechNet Cyber 2021 in Baltimore. Photo by Michael Carpenter

Faced with supporting complex warfighting in a future near-peer environment, the Defense Information Systems Agency, or DISA, a combat support agency that provides key communications, computing and information technology on a global scale, has reorganized to better position the whole of the Defense Department for the future fight.

“The problem statement that we really looked at hard and continue to look at is: ‘Is DISA’s organizational design too complex for best value?'” explained Lt. Gen. Robert Skinner, USAF, director, DISA, and commander, Joint Force Headquarters-Department of Defense Information Network (JFHQ-DODIN). “Is that true? And if that is true, then what do we need to do to improve?”

October 1, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
A U.S. Air Force captain radios an aircraft heading for a landing on a highway in Bulgaria during the exercise Thracian Summer 2021. The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is placing high emphasis on improving command and control as part of its new strategy. USAF photo

The Defense Information Systems Agency is introducing a new strategy that will blend five lines of effort with an internal reorganization amid new budgeting authority. The goal is a synergistic effort that ensures information superiority for the U.S. military as it moves forward against new adversarial challenges.

The new strategy aligns the fiscal year 2022 budget collaboratively with internal agency reorganization. This approach is designed by Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) leadership to allow it to make necessary changes for the next several years.

August 18, 2021
By George I. Seffers
Credit: Shutterstock/Olivier Le Moal

The Defense Information Systems Agency intends next month to award a contract for its Thunderdome zero-trust architecture and to begin implementing a prototype within six months. The new architecture is expected to enhance security, reduce complexity and save costs while replacing the current defense-in-depth approach to network security.

October 1, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is developing robotic process automation solutions to automate some computer security authorization processes, which will reduce workloads and offer efficiencies to warfighters, such as to the airmen from the 4th Communications Squadron at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, who are responsible for authorizing and supporting about 7,000 computer users at the base.  U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kimberly Barrera

The Defense Information Systems Agency is embracing robotic process automation, and it is implementing several steps. The agency is training a cadre of developers, and it is also creating a platform and code library and establishing practices and methods—all to internally improve how it delivers robotic process automation across the agency. By using automated software robots, or bots, that can perform rules-based processes, the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) aims to reduce the workload for humans that conduct repetitive tasks across the agency’s financial, public relations, procurement and other offices.

October 1, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
A U.S. Marine Corps lieutenant colonel with the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) explains a Cloud Layered Obfuscation Application Kit (CLOAK) to the commanding officer for I Marine Expeditionary Force (I MEF) Information Group. CLOAK uses commercial cloud computing resources to improve I MEF connectivity. U.S. Marine Corps photo

The Defense Information Systems Agency is bringing its broad resources to bear in an effort to improve the cloud and deliver its capabilities to the warfighter. Since the agency has absorbed defensewide cloud services earlier this year, it sees an opportunity to provide greater cloud capabilities to the warfighter faster and at less cost.

October 1, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
Credit: Shutterstock/Ryzhi

As it advances its application of robotic process automation, the Defense Information Systems Agency is expanding its artificial intelligence efforts through a research agreement and a new pilot program. The agency is using these latest efforts to examine the application of artificial intelligence capabilities to network defense—as it conducts its daily around-the-clock mission of protecting the Department of Defense Information Network.

In one effort, the agency is working with Vienna, Virginia-based software company NT Concepts through a cooperative research and development agreement, or CRADA, to apply machine learning (ML) to defensive cyber operations.

October 1, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
Credit: Shutterstock/Fit Ztudio

The Defense Information Systems Agency is initially employing robotic process automation, or RPA, to several of its processes in finance, public affairs, circuit management, security authorization and procurement, with an intent to build a robust RPA platform for greater use across the agency. The automated software robots, or bots, will perform repetitive, rules-based processes and considerably reduce the workload of humans, the director of DISA’s Emerging Technology Directorate, Stephen Wallace, shares.

September 28, 2021
By George I. Seffers
DISA supports JADC2 in more ways than many people might realize, according to Brian Hermann, the agency's program executive officer for services development. Credit: Titima Ongkantong/Shutterstock

The U.S. Defense Information Systems Agency’s Thunderdome project may be the new kid on the block supporting the Defense Department’s command and control vision, but the agency’s legacy systems also could prove pivotal.

“I think there’s more to DISA’s role in JADC2 than is obvious,” says Brian Hermann, program executive officer for services development at the agency commonly known as DISA. Joint all-domain command and control, or JADC2, focuses on data to allow warfighters to make faster decisions than potential adversaries.

September 7, 2021
 

Trace Systems Inc., Vienna, Virginia, was awarded a competitive, single award, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract to provide communications systems acquisition, integration, installation, and operations and maintenance in support of U.S. Air Forces Central Command (USAFCENT) deployed mission requirements. The not-to-exceed/ceiling value of the contract is $600,000,000.  The minimum guarantee will be funded by fiscal 2021 operation and maintenance funds. Primary performance will be at USAFCENT locations throughout Southwest Asia. The solicitation (HC1028-19-R-0009) was issued as a full and open competitive action via Beta.Sam.Gov, and seven proposals were received.

September 1, 2021
 

ARINC Inc., Annapolis, Maryland, was awarded a non-competitive, firm fixed-price, single-award, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract with a ceiling value of $205,062,956, for Datalink Services to provide certified and continuous flight safety services, Datalink messaging and voice communications with worldwide air traffic control agencies, and general data and voice for government command and control agencies.  The $15,000 minimum guarantee will be funded by fiscal 2022 operations and maintenance funds. Primary performance will be at the contractor’s facility.

August 26, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
Lt. Gen. Robert J. Skinner, USAF, DISA director and Joint Force Headquarters (JFHQ) DODIN commander, views five distinct lines of effort as the key to DISA's new strategy. (DISA photo)

Five key lines of effort define the course that the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is taking to ensure information superiority for the U.S. military as it moves forward against new adversarial challenges. These lines of effort are the framework for the agency’s new strategy that is being developed and implemented at DISA.

August 18, 2021
By George I. Seffers
Credit: Gerd Altmann/Pixabay

Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) officials do not plan to try to force others in the Defense Department or military services to use its zero-trust solution known as Thunderdome.

Thunderdome is a fledgling program that offers a range of capabilities, including secure access service edge (SASE), software-defined area networking (SD-WAN), identity credential access management (ICAM) and virtual security stacks.

SASE, which is pronounced “sassy,” is a technology package that includes SD-WAN, firewall as a service and cloud access security broker. While SASE has been implemented across much of the commercial world, it has not yet been widely adopted by the government.

August 19, 2021
By George I. Seffers
A soldier helps set up a tactical command post to test communications in Germany, July 8, 2019.  Photo by Army Sgt. Patrick Jubrey

The U.S. Defense Department has entered the first phase of delivery on a sweeping capability known as Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2), a once-in-a-generation modernization of the military’s approach to commanding forces.

Department officials aim to deliver a minimal viable product that includes an array of capabilities, such as a fundamental platform, identity control access management, zero-trust cybersecurity and data transport capabilities, according to Lt. Gen. Dennis Crall, USMC, director for command, control, communications and computers/cyber and chief information officer, Joint Staff/J-6. Once the minimal viable product, also known as an MVP, is in place, the department can continue to add capabilities.

July 30, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
The Defense Information Systems Agency’s Emerging Technology Directorate is beginning a new pilot program to look at how well artificial intelligence and machine learning can be applied to automate aspects of cyber defense. Credit: Shutterstock/cybrain

The Defense Information Systems Agency, known as DISA, is expanding its artificial intelligence (AI) efforts through a research agreement and a new pilot program. While both efforts are in the beginning stages, the agency is considering how to possibly apply the so-called AI capabilities to network defense—among other areas the agency is separately pursuing—as it conducts its daily 24/7 mission of protecting the Department of Defense Information Network, or DODIN.

The agency entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement, or CRADA, with Vienna, Virginia-based software company NT Concepts to apply machine learning (ML) to defensive cyber operations.

July 8, 2021
 

Comcast Government Services LLC, Reston, Virginia, was awarded a competitive, firm-fixed-price, single award, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the Commercial Ethernet Gateway Region 6 to provide mission partner access, via ethernet connections, to the Department of Defense Information Network and to enable the replacement of legacy, time division multiplexing-based circuits. The total amount of all orders placed against the contract shall not exceed $75,782,800.  The guaranteed minimum amount is $500 and will be funded by fiscal 2021 operation and maintenance funds. The period of performance is 10 years, with a six-year base period and two two-year option periods from July 12, 2021 to July 11, 2031.

June 14, 2021
 

Cisco Systems Inc., San Jose, California, was awarded a single-award indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract with a ceiling of $1,180,185,116 for brand name Cisco Smart Net Total Care and Software Support Services for users across the Department of Defense. The period of performance is a one-year base period and two one-year option periods, for a total contract life cycle of three years. Proposals were solicited from the System for Award Management website (beta.SAM.gov), and three proposals were received. The Defense Information Technology Contracting Organization, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, is the contracting activity (HC1084-21-D-0003). 

June 14, 2021
 

Comcast Government Services LLC, Reston, Virginia, was awarded a competitive firm-fixed-price, single-award, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the Commercial Ethernet Gateway Region 4 to provide mission partner access, via ethernet connections, to the Department of Defense Information Network and to enable the replacement of legacy, time division multiplexing-based circuits. The contract ceiling value is $84,162,000 with the $500 minimum guarantee funded by fiscal 2021 operations and maintenance funds. Primary performance will be at the contractor’s above-identified facility in Reston, Virginia.

May 21, 2021
By Sandra Jontz
Lt. Gen. Robert Skinner, USAF, director of the Defense Information Systems Agency and the Joint Force Headquarters Department of Defense Information Network, highlights agency priorities and focus areas during a virtual luncheon session hosted Thursday by AFCEA's Central Maryland Chapter.

Lt. Gen. Robert Skinner, USAF, director of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) and the Joint Force Headquarters Department of Defense Information Network, (JFHQ-DODIN), highlighted agency priorities and focus areas that could provide a peek into his much-anticipated new action plan to further modernize the Defense Department.

Now a few months into his new role as DISA/JFHQ-DODIN commander, Gen. Skinner is looking to 2022 and beyond with a focus on data centricity, he said Thursday during the AFCEA Central Maryland chapter’s May virtual luncheon.

April 20, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
Leaders from the Defense Information Systems Agency and the Joint Force Headquarters Department of Defense Information Network, including Gen. Garret Yee, Gen. Paul Fredenburg and Joe Wassel, found that the close working relationship of the two organizations was crucial in responding to the SolarWinds malware attack.

Facing an unprecedented malicious cyber event, the Defense Information Systems Agency, known as DISA, and the Joint Force Headquarters Department of Defense Information Network, or JFHQ-DODIN, sprang into action, leaning on their respective round-the-clock operations, their supply chain management postures, and relying on its industry, Defense Department and government partnerships, leaders say.

April 6, 2021
 

The Boeing Co., Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, was awarded a non-competitive, firm-fixed-price contract for high throughput commercial military Ka-band mission essential communications and internet service on E-4B aircraft under Air Force Global Strike Command control. The face value of this action is $26,634,982, funded by fiscal 2021 operations and maintenance funds.  The total cumulative face value of the contract is $197,223,871.  Primary performance will be at Boeing Global SatCom Services Network Operations Center, Kent, Washington. The period of performance is April 1, 2021, through March 31, 2022, with four 12-month option periods. This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition.

March 4, 2021
 

Leidos Inc., Reston, Virginia, was awarded a non-competitive modification action (P00040) under contract HC1028-17-C-0001. This action establishes a new cost-plus-fixed-fee contract line item number (CLIN) 1002 on the existing contract to deliver the modernization of the Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data Systems with a revised code convergence strategy. The face value of this action is $58,137,204, and is funded by fiscal 2021 and 2022 research, development, test and evaluation funding. The total cumulative face value of this contract is $195,112,140.  The performance will remain at the contractor's site. The period of performance of CLIN 1002 will be a total of 39 months, from March 1, 2021, through May 31, 2024.