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CHIPS Articles: DoD’s Commercial Mobile Device Implementation Plan

DoD’s Commercial Mobile Device Implementation Plan
Enabling the mobile workforce
By Sharon Anderson and Heather Rutherford - April-June 2013
Recognizing increasing end-user dependence on mobile devices, the Defense Department released a comprehensive enterprise management plan in February to ensure secure mobile device operation and maintenance in a cost efficient manner. The Commercial Mobile Device (CMD) Implementation Plan focuses on three key areas: mobile devices, the information enterprise infrastructure to support mobile devices and a Mobile Application Store. The plan emphasizes flexibility as a top priority to keep pace with fast-changing technology.

Plan development is in response to a Joint Requirements Oversight Council Capability Gap Assessment, Office of the Secretary of Defense guidance, and strong user demand for secure classified and unclassified mobile solutions. The plan outlines goals to provide data and voice services at the unclassified, secret and top secret levels for CONUS and OCONUS users, but does include provisions for use in combat.

Mobility solutions will leverage the enterprise capabilities within DoD’s Joint Information Environment and will also be codified in the department’s Information Enterprise Architecture.


The vision is to equip 600,000 DoD mobile-device users with secure classified and protected unclassified devices. The CMD Implementation Plan uses a phased structure, allowing small-scale pilot programs so that lessons learned can be incorporated and the plan refined as implementations scale up. The plan executes the goals of the Mobile Device Strategy released in June 2012 by establishing a framework to advance and evolve the DoD enterprise information infrastructure to support mobile device policies and promote the development and use of mobile apps for DoD. The goal is to provide a cost management process that permits mobility solutions across the Defense Department but not to implement a specific mobile technology.

The CMD Implementation Plan opens the door for Android, Apple and BlackBerry devices enabling a device-agnostic approach. The plan includes directives to establish wireless voice, video and data capabilities across the department by October 2013. It also calls for a 90-day approval cycle for mobile devices and operating systems, and includes guidance for the use of personal devices within the DoD environment due to ongoing security concerns. Under the plan, a bring-your-own-device option is not permitted.

Acquisition contracts for CMD carrier services (e.g., mobile voice and data via cellular) will be consolidated to the greatest extent practical. Department and governmentwide contracts are preferred to promote efficient use of government resources, in accordance with the Digital Government Strategy released May 23, 2012.

Mobile Application Store

Recognizing the increasing power, popularity and productivity advanced by mobile apps, DoD users will be able to download required applications from the department’s Mobile Application Store. The DoD Chief Information Officer’s aim is to develop a centralized library of mission-capable apps and an organizational process and development framework that keep pace with technology improvements where applications can be quickly developed, certified, purchased and distributed to users.

"This is not simply about embracing the newest technology — it is about keeping the department's workforce relevant in an era when information accessibility and cybersecurity play a critical role in mission success," said DoD CIO Teri Takai, in a release dated Feb. 26.


According to the plan, mobility capabilities will be guided by a continuous process of requirements evaluation and business case analyses to determine the mission and cost effectiveness of developing an enterprise solution. The approach calls for the procurement of CMDs via the Defense Information Systems Agency, DoD components and the General Services Administration. Mobile applications will be acquired and managed by each component, as a service managed by GSA, and as an enterprise service managed by DISA.

At the same time, DoD will take into account mobile application development across DoD and other federal agencies to leverage lessons learned. The DoD CIO will make the final decision on enterprise apps with input from each of the components to ensure enterprise applications meet mission requirements and achieve best value for the department. Under the direction of the DoD CIO Executive Board, department components will participate in the CMD Working Group. The CMDWG will review and approve standards, policies and processes for the management of mobility solutions and mobile applications on an ad hoc basis. The DoD CIO will conduct a semiannual audit that determines the total cost of mobility implementation, operation and management.

First Responder Network and Security Features

The plan also addresses security and interoperability standards with the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) Radio Access Network since DoD is often called upon to partner with other federal agencies and civil authorities when responding to significant local, regional or national emergencies. The DoD CIO foresees the ability to leverage CMDs to augment, enhance or replace existing communication capabilities as a total force enabler that will empower a new generation of digital collaboration technology. Developing networks that can simultaneously integrate DoD and public safety networks will widen the circle of actors who can support a given operation, allowing diverse stakeholders to contribute insights and expertise in real time.

The DoD mobility capability will integrate into established cyber-situational awareness and information assurance policies and procedures and computer network defense. Advances in technology may permit additional security features to strengthen the overall information assurance posture of DoD networks. Technologies to be examined include, but are not limited to, encrypting all voice traffic via Voice over Secure Internet Protocol (VoSIP), implementing 1024-bit encryption and biometric techniques. The Commercial Mobile Device Implementation Plan will deliver compelling benefits to DoD organizations and individual users; it is a strategy that incorporates long-term objectives as well as nearterm capabilities.

According to Ms. Takai, the plan is a “key capability enabler for joint force combat operations, the application of mobile technology into global operations, integration of secure and non-secure communications, and development of portable, cloud-enabled capability [that] will dramatically increase the number of people able to collaborate and share information rapidly.”

DoD Component Mobility Pilots

Unclassified CMD Capability
-- Army App Store (
-- Connecting Soldiers to Digital Apps
-- Navy - Digital Sea Bag
> -- Air Force Warfighter’s Edge
-- Air Force Electronic Flight Bags
-- U.S. Northern Command ONE Mobile Application
-- Telemedicine and Advanced Training Research Center mCare Initiative
-- Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Fixed Wireless at a Distance

Unclassified CMD Capability
-- Navy - 4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE) Sea Trial
-- Special Operations Command - SECRET BlackBerry
-- Marines Corps - Trusted Handheld
-- DARPA - Secure iPad
-- Defense Information Systems Agency - Multi-Level Security Joint

Capability Technology Demonstration (JCTD)
-- DISA - JO-LTE-D TACTICS JCTD (broadband to the tactical edge)
-- National Security Agency - TIPSPIRAL

Department of Defense Mobile Device Strategy: and Commercial Mobile Device (CMD) Implementation Plan:

GULFPORT, Miss. (Feb. 7, 2012) A Seabee at Naval Construction Battalion Center Gulfport, Miss. completes a Navy computer adaptive personality scales questionnaire. U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Ryan G. Wilber.
GULFPORT, Miss. (Feb. 7, 2012) A Seabee at Naval Construction Battalion Center Gulfport, Miss. completes a Navy computer adaptive personality scales questionnaire. U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Ryan G. Wilber.
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