DISA rolls out new classified smartphone system

The latest version of the Defense Department’s classified mobile service has moved out of the pilot stage and is operational.

Known as the Defense Mobile Classified Capability – Secret, DMCC-S, it was developed by the Defense Information Systems Agency and the National Security Agency and uses commercial smartphones with enhanced security added and security-risk features such as camera, GPS receiver and Bluetooth turned off.

DMCC-S, now in version 2.0.5, is replacing the Secure Mobile Environment Portable Electronic Device (SME PED) system, which first appeared in 2008 and which DISA will shut down July 30. The new version improves the interoperability of calls and failover, and adds a mobile device management system, DISA said. With the rollout of the service, DISA also is introducing a new device with better graphics and sound quality, along with longer battery life.

“The operational mobile classified capability brings us one step closer to the Joint Information Environment vision, where our warfighters and national level leaders can access a secure infrastructure and applications from any device, anytime, anywhere,” Kim Rice, DISA’s mobility portfolio manager, said in a news release.

DISA has started issuing the new version of DMCC-S to SME-PEDs and first-generation DMCC-S users, and expects to have 3,000 DMCC-S users by the second quarter of fiscal 2016, which Rice said would be triple the current number.

“This release is a big step toward being able to deliver secure mobile capabilities faster than we have ever seen before,” she said, crediting the NSA’s Commercial Solutions for Classified Program with approving commercial devices in a way the speeds up deployment. “That’s important because it enables us to scale the capability.”

As the military adds more and more mobile devices, DISA has been ramping up efforts to allow for secure classified mobile communications. In May, the agency announced a new high-level device, the DOD Enterprise Classified Travel Kit Gateway (DECTK-GW), that will provide classified voice, data and, sometimes, video, depending on the configuration. It comes in three configurations that range in weight from 12 to 19 pounds.

Like the Executive Voice Kits they will replace, DECTK-GW will most likely be used by high-level officials (i.e., those most likely to have somebody else carry the thing), though DISA said the kits will be available throughout DOD.

About the Author

Kevin McCaney is a former editor of Defense Systems and GCN.

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