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CHIPS Articles: DISA, trusted provider to connect and protect warfighters in cyberspace

DISA, trusted provider to connect and protect warfighters in cyberspace
Invites industry to collaborate in nation’s defense
By Jim Verchio, DISA Strategic Communication and Public Affairs - November 7, 2019
The Defense Information Systems Agency’s present and future industry partners joined DISA for Forecast to Industry 2019 Nov. 4 at Martin’s West in Baltimore, Maryland.

The event provided close to 1,000 information technology industry representatives in-depth information about the agency’s upcoming acquisition and procurement plans, while offering a forum to join forces with DISA in defense of the nation.

The theme for this year’s event, “20/20: Vision in 3D” refers to DISA, mission partners and industry working together and mirrors DISA Director Navy Vice Adm. Nancy A. Norton’s strategic vision for DISA: To be the trusted provider to connect and protect the warfighter in cyberspace.

Her opening remarks paint a three dimensional picture of DISA’s unique mission set, which is enabled by DISA, mission partners and industry.

“DISA provides, operates and assures command and control and information sharing capabilities and a globally acceptable information enterprise in direct support of joint warfighters, national-level leaders and other mission and coalition partners across the full spectrum of multi-domain military operations,” Norton said.

She said since the last Forecast to Industry in 2018, some programs have transitioned within the department, but that transition does not mean DISA’s mission is decreasing.

“DISA’s mission has grown,” Norton said, as she described several new objectives.

“In 2018, the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center was established under the leadership of Lt. Gen. Jack Shanahan. The center’s mission is to accelerate the adoption an integration of artificial intelligence and to synchronize the department’ AI activity.”

The director also described DISA’s most recent area of growth — the Fourth Estate Network Optimization effort.

“This is an IT reform effort that consolidates common-use IT services and capabilities across the defense agencies and field activities,” Norton said. “DISA has been granted the authority to transition to a single service provider charged with IT service excellence, integrating enterprise capabilities, mitigating security risks to the DoD and controlling costs.

“This will improve the effectiveness of our cyber landscape across the enterprise,” she said.

Following the director’s opening remarks and a strategic overview, DISA’s Assistant to the Director, Army Maj. Gen. Garrett Yee briefed the agency’s fiscal years 2020 and 2021 procurement vision.

DISA’s Systems Innovation Scientist for the Emerging Technologies Directorate, Steve Wallace, used his time to talk about new projects, and industry’s role in helping DISA achieve its mission.

“We have to be more automated in the way that we do things,” Wallace said. “We have to better leverage automation capabilities within the data centers to be able to spin-up and spin-down workload on demand, and we need the ability to quickly deliver features and functions.”

Presentations continued throughout the morning and into the afternoon including discussions on Endpoint Security Solutions, Fourth Estate Network Optimization, the Joint Service Provider and Office of Small Business Programs to name a few.

During the lunch break, a media roundtable provided journalists the opportunity to directly engage with DISA leadership and subject matter experts.

At the end of the afternoon, industry partners were able to meet senior leader representatives, acquisition representatives and program managers from across the agency to network, ask questions and to forge new relationships.

Briefing slides from the event, the Forecast to Industry video and a list of DISA’s planned procurements, are available on the DISA website: ttps://www.disa.mil/.

DISA Director Navy Vice Adm. <a href="https://www.navy.mil/navydata/bios/navybio.asp?bioID=715" alt='Link will open in a new window.' target='whole'>Nancy A. Norton</a>
DISA Director Navy Vice Adm. Nancy A. Norton
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