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CHIPS Articles: DISA’s executive deputy director provides agency overview at AFCEA TechNet Cyber

DISA’s executive deputy director provides agency overview at AFCEA TechNet Cyber
By Jim Verchio, DISA Strategic Communication and Public Affairs - May 15, 2019
DISA’s Executive Deputy Director Tony Montemarano packed the house as the first speaker during the annual AFCEA TechNet Cyber, formerly known as the AFCEA Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium, at the Baltimore Convention Center Tuesday, May 14.

The symposium, which runs through Thursday, May 16, is an opportunity for industry to bring solutions in front of key decision-makers responsible for securing, operating, and defending the nation's networks. It also provides a venue for government representatives to share their program objectives and technological requirements with industry.

Montemarano uses the annual platform to inform industry and mission partners about DISA’s capabilities and to update attendees on the newest services and capabilities emerging from the agency.

He also uses the platform to break down the agency’s command and mission structures.

DISA and JFHQ-DoDIN have a common leader, different responsibilities

DISA and the Joint Force Headquarters – DoD Information Network (JFHQ-DoDIN) have a common leader, Navy Vice Adm. Nancy A. Norton.

As DISA’s director, Norton reports to the DoD chief information officer, Dana Deasy.

As the commander of JFHQ-DoDIN, she also reports to Army Gen. Paul M. Nakasone, commander of U.S. Cyber Command, director of the National Security Agency (NSA), and chief of the Central Security Service.

Montemarano explained it is DISA’s responsibility to build, operate, and secure DISA’s component of the DoD global enterprise, and that it’s JFHQ-DoDIN’s mission to command and control while it directs and integrates Defensive Cyberspace Operations 24/7, for the purpose of preventing and responding to threats and intrusions on the DoDIN.

“I have never seen better synchronization between DISA, the NSA, Cyber Command, and JFHQ-DoDIN,” he said. “We’ve [DISA] been providing connectivity since 1960, and because we’re so closely integrated, we’re providing seamless, joint solutions.”

Montemarano described for attendees the attributes that make DISA the premier information technology combat support agency, and said the agency continues to evolve.

“At this point last year, there was talk DISA might be going away,” he said. “Here we are one year later, and not only are we not going away … our mission portfolio continues to expand.”

Although there has been some mission shift with the National Background Investigation Services, the Joint System Engineering and Integration Office, the Commercial Satellite Communication, and the Multi-National Information Sharing missions moving to other agencies, Montemarano explained there are exciting changes for the agency on the horizon.

“We’re excited to welcome the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center, lead the Forth Estate Optimization effort, take administrative control of the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure program, and continue evolving milCloud 2.0,” he said.

The executive deputy director said the Fourth Estate Network Optimization effort is increasing the agency’s workforce by almost 1,000 positions, but stressed the agency is still looking for talent across all disciplines.

“DISA offers plenty of career opportunities,” Montemarano said. “Cyber development is huge, and we’re absolutely interested in bringing the best experts on board.”

Wrapping up his remarks, Montemarano fielded a few questions from the audience and closed by saying DISA is continually evolving. He talked about the importance of DISA’s mission and its impact on the nation, department, and the warfighter.

“From contracting to mobility solutions … we are moving,” he said. “I am proud to say we operate a world-class infrastructure environment, and we are here for the warfighter.”

A copy of Montemarano’s presentation is available on DISA.mil.

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