Defense Department network defenders are under persistent engagement and constantly look for quicker, more agile ways to preempt and respond to cyber attacks. The challenge to secure, operate and defend the Department of Defense Information Network (DODIN) is the scope, scale and complexity of the DODIN. Its daily operations are conducted in an operational environment of continuous competition against determined adversaries. The Defense Department’s mission assurance depends on the success of this mission area.
The Defense Information Systems Agency is a combat support agency, and as such, is charged with supplying key information technology to warfighters and civilians around the globe. The agency provides voice, data, video, spectrum, computing and other communication capabilities to combatant commands, the Joint Staff, the services, offices and agencies in Department of Defense and the intelligence community.
Thirty years after the Morris Worm, networks face a long and growing list of potential attack vectors employed by an almost limitless number of threat sources, including criminals, hacktivists and nation-state actors. In response to threats, the U.S. Defense Department has taken prudent measures to shore up vulnerable systems and networks. In accordance with the well-established practice of concentric rings of security, the most sensitive department data exists on its most secure and isolated networks.
When operating one of the most complex and critical networks on the planet, risk is a given. That risk comes in two forms, technical and operational, and managing both is a matter of balance.
Roger Greenwell, Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) risk management executive and authorizing official, is responsible for maintaining that balance on the Defense Information Systems Network (DISN), a global enterprise network that enables information superiority and critical communications. The DISN is the core of the Department of Defense Information Network, a worldwide conglomeration of military networks.
By definition, the Defense Information Systems Agency Mission Partner Engagement Office’s role is to engage with customers. So it makes sense that the office is working to improve how it helps the myriad of Department of Defense and intergovernmental employees that need the information services provided by the combat support agency known as DISA.
The Defense Department is employing a new design for its Next Generation (NEXTGEN) cybersecurity inspection that links the inspection to an organization’s operational mission. In an era of persistent engagement in cyberspace, the goal of these new mission-based, threat-focused cyber inspections contributes to increasing the security and resilience of the Department of Defense Information Network (DODIN). These inspections simultaneously give commanders and directors a deeper understanding of their cyberspace operating environment and associated risks to their mission.
The Defense Information Systems Agency, known as DISA, has unveiled a new data solution for military users that will increase the reliability and availability of data and information, it claims. Through milDrive, users can access information, manipulate files and folders, either online or offline.
After working with information or files offline, and when users regain network access, milDrive will automatically synchronize the data, said Carissa Landymore, DISA’s cloud storage program manager. “[As] a personal file storage service, milDrive [will] really ensure warfighters have continuous, reliable access to files without regard to device or location,” Landymore said.
AT&T Corp., Columbia, Maryland, was awarded a firm-fixed-price contract modification (P00012) with a face value of $12,080,764, to exercise Option Year Three of previously awarded sole-source contract HC1013-16-C-0001 for the Northstar Long-Haul Telecommunications Network and associated transmission circuits for an Ultra-High Frequency/Line of Sight communications system network. The modification is funded by fiscal year 2019 operations and maintenance funds. Total cumulative face value of the contract is $56,131,776. Performance will be at various sites geographically dispersed across the continental U.S. The period of performance for this action is May 1, 2019, to April 30, 2020.
Siemens Government Technologies Inc., Arlington, Virginia (HC1028-19-C0006), was awarded a competitive, single award, firm-fixed-price contract on March 15, 2019 for commercially available off-the-shelf brand-name Siemens software licenses and support in support of the Navy. The face value (and total cumulative face value) of this action is $8,324,661 funded by fiscal year 2019 research, development, test and evaluation funds. Performance will be at a Navy facility in Norfolk, Virginia. Proposals were solicited via Federal Business Opportunities, and two proposals were received. The period of performance is March 15, 2019, through March 14, 2020.
NextGen Federal Systems LLC, Morgantown, West Virginia, was awarded a competitive, hybrid (firm-fixed-price and cost-plus-fixed-fee) contract with four one-year options on task order HC1047‐19-C-0004 for independent verification and validation of software in support of the Defense Information Systems Agency Command and Control Portfolio. The face value of this action is $7,142,540 funded by fiscal 2019 operations and maintenance. The total cumulative face value of the contract is $52,574,624. Performance will take place primarily at the government's facility located at Fort George G. Meade Defense Information Systems Agency Headquarters.
SES Government Solutions Inc., Reston, Virginia, was awarded a firm-fixed-price contract modification (P00007) to exercise Option Period Four on task order GS-35F-0328V / HC101315F0008 for commercial satellite communications service. The face value of this action is $8,356,608 funded by fiscal year 2019 operations and maintenance funds. The total cumulative face value of the task order is $45,264,960. Performance directly supports the U.S. Central Command Southwest Asia Area of Responsibility. Quotations were solicited via the General Services Administration's Federal Supply Schedule, Information Technology Schedule 70. Five quotations were received from 22 solicited offers.
Solers Inc., Arlington, Virginia, was awarded an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity (ID/IQ) contract for Systems Engineering, Technology, and Innovation. This was a competitive solicitation for a multiple-award ID/IQ contract, with an unrestricted pool and a pool set-aside for small businesses. The original awards for the unrestricted pool were initially made in June 2018. Four post-award protests were submitted to the Government Accountability Office (GAO). Following the GAO decisions, issued in October 2018, the agency took corrective action that resulted in the decision to award a contract to Solers Inc. The face value of this action is a ceiling amount of $7,500,000,000.
Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies can be used by DOD to gain a competitive advantage, especially in cyberspace operations. While the technology has made it easier for the military to operate and communicate, “It has also a unique set of challenges with dependencies and vulnerabilities for the department, our nation, our economy and our everyday lives,” said Vice Adm. Nancy Norton, USN, director of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) and commander, Joint Force Headquarters–Department of Defense Information Network (JFHQ-DODIN). The admiral presented the keynote luncheon address at the AFCEA Rocky Mountain Cyberspace Symposium on February 5 and spoke to SIGNAL Magazine.
Virginia Beach, Virginia-based LightGrid LLC announced on January 16 that it had secured a Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) Information Communications and Technology (ICT) prime contract. Under the contract, the company will provide support to the U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) for critical infrastructure, logistics, and VoIP engineering around the globe.
The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) has reorganized its technology innovation efforts into a single organization designed both to work with outside research organizations and to operate across internal agency lines. The new organization, known as the Emerging Technologies (EM) Directorate, will tap legacy expertise but apply it in a new approach to incorporating innovation, according to DISA.
Qwest Government Solutions Inc., doing business as CenturyLink QGS, Herndon, Virginia, was awarded a non-competitive firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite -quantity contract for a five-year period of performance for the continued operations and maintenance support for dark fiber and commercial facilities in the continental U.S.
The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) provided in-depth information about its acquisition and procurement plans at its annual Forecast to Industry event with the theme of “Trusted Partnerships.”
“Our theme embodies the way we work closely with you—our industry partners—to develop solutions for DOD and our warfighters. Working together expands our capabilities and we could not do it without you,” said DISA Director Vice Adm. Nancy Norton, USN, to an audience of around 1,000. The event was also live streamed.
“As I see it, that trusted partnership is incredibly important for us to fulfill our vision of connecting and protecting the warfighter in cyberspace,” Adm. Norton stated.
The Warfighter Information Network–Tactical program delivered a digital transformation, enabling maneuver elements to move faster and provide commanders with vital battlefield information in near real-time. Its flexibility facilitated communications in Iraq’s urban environments and Afghanistan’s mountainous terrain. Although a powerful improvement over Mobile Subscriber Equipment, the technologies are not powerful enough to combat adversaries wielding cyber capabilities.
ViON Corp., Herndon, Virginia, was awarded a competitive, single award, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, firm-fixed-price contract for SPARC processor capacity services with a total lifecycle contract amount of $329,586,627. The minimum guarantee for this effort, which is being met by the first delivery order under HC1084-19-D-0001, is $630,000, funded by fiscal year 2019 research, development, test and evaluation funds. Performance will be at current Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) data centers or future DISA centers in the continental U.S. (CONUS); DISA outside CONUS data centers; and other DISA or DISA-approved locations worldwide in which DISA may acquire an operational responsibility.
Iridium Satellite LLC, Tempe, Arizona, was awarded a non-competitive, firm-fixed-price $44,000,000 contract modification (P00008) for the extension of services on the current airtime contract (HC104714C4000) in accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulation 52.217-8. Fiscal year 2019 defense working capital funds will be used. Performance will be at the contractor's facility. The period of performance for the option period is October 22, 2018, through April 21, 2019. The Defense Information Technology Contracting Organization, Scott AFB, Illinois, is the contracting activity.