DISA outlines strategy to support shift to Asia-Pacific region

The Defense Information Systems Agency will support the U.S. Defense Department's shift in focus to the Asia-Pacific theater by mobilizing to provide increased support for new mission requirements for the department and region and by consolidating service and coalition networks in ways that will facilitate information sharing for security forces in the region, DISA said Nov. 14.

Specifically, DISA's 2013-2018 strategic plan calls for the agency to furnish direct support for Pacific Command (PACOM) exercises and engagements with multinational partners and provide increased  enterprise infrastructure for new DOD mission requirements, such as Joint Information Environment (JIE) and the Future Mission Network (FMN) capabilities. JIE and FMN will support U.S. forces in their efforts to work closely with coalition partners in the Asia-Pacific toward the common goal of regional security.

DISA already has begun initial efforts to support the rebalance effort. The agency has assisted with the development of FMN capabilities through the execution of a pilot called the Common Mission Network Transport (CMNT). The Program Executive Office for Command and Control Capabilities (PEO-C2C), Network Services Directorate (NS) and DISA Pacific (PAC) were able to plan, field, and install the first two CMNT nodes at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, and the Naval Computer and Telecommunications Area Master Station Pacific at Wahiawa, Hawaii, in time to meet customer requirements for use during Exercise Valiant Shield 2012 in September. During the exercise, data was collected to support an initial operational assessment of CMNT.

The four main areas where DISA is expected to assist PACOM with the shift to the Asia-Pacific region are:

  • Exercise and engagement support. PACOM's request for increased funding to support more exercises and engagements with its partners in the Asia-Pacific region means that DISA may need to expand its participation in the PACOM/Partner Command and Control Interoperability Board, Interoperability Management Board and other interoperability boards that support coordinated DOD efforts across the area of responsibility. It also means that DISA PAC will need to be prepared to provide increased support to regional exercises to meet expanding PACOM requirements.
  • Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) support. PACOM has requested increased ISR capabilities. To meet this request, DISA will need to augment enterprise infrastructure to meet bandwidth requirements.
  • JIE. DISA will need to provide necessary JIE support through NS, Enterprise Services Directorate (ESD), JIE Technology Synchronization Office (JTSO) and program executive offices to satisfy specific PACOM JIE requirements as they're articulated and approved. DISA PAC will continue to work closely with PACOM staff and subordinate commands to help synchronize local and regional JIE efforts.
  • FMN. PACOM has identified FMN as the target future mission partner operating environment in which to plan, prepare, and execute command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance on a single security classification level with a common language. It is where mission partners will release their information to be shared within the political framework of a specific partnership or coalition, enabling the rapid achievement of unified operations.

For the CMNT pilot, DISA will help install and operate four nodes in the Pacific: two in Hawaii (which the team has already installed), one in Japan, and one in Korea. The  pilot will be installed, operated, and assessed in conjunction with several exercises within PACOM over the next year. Results of the pilot will inform further development and deployment of FMN capabilities.

About the Author

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

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