Always On - Preparing for the Next Engagement

By LTG Carroll F. Pollett, Director, Defense Information Systems Agency and Commander, Joint Task Force-Global Network Operations

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) will celebrate our 50th anniversary on May 12, 2010. If there is one remarkable constant that characterizes these five decades, it is the agency’s ability to transform as technology and the demand for information have changed. At no other time in our history have the demands, challenges, opportunities, and threats to command and control and information sharing been evolving, all in parallel, at such a rapid pace. We are focused on meeting these demands and setting the conditions to assure information dominance in the future.

The DISA leadership team conducted a detailed self assessment to determine how to continue to transform to meet the challenges of operating in an increasingly complex, unpredictable, and contested environment. DISA and our mission partners must provide the information capabilities required to support our nation’s warfighters in the next engagement whenever and wherever that may occur.


DISA’s Guiding Principles are the foundations of net-centricity: Global Mission; Begin at the Edge; Full Spectrum of Operations; DoD and Mission Partners; Contested Battlespace; Always On; End-to-End Service.

The enterprise that we operate begins at the edge with each end user. Users at the edge must have access to the full range of enterprise capabilities and services so they can leverage the information and services they need with confidence that the network is reliable and the information is protected. We must have an enterprise infrastructure that ensures delivery of those capabilities and services. It’s not about data; it’s about reliable, trusted information; collaborating and sharing that information; and ensuring consistent access to information on protected networks to enable optimal situational awareness and decision-making.

DISA is supported by more than 16,000 military, government, and industry employees in 80 locations around the world. We are committed to being prepared to operate effectively in an extremely dynamic and challenging global environment in which the demand for information is continually increasing. Toward that end, DISA is focused on three lines of operation:

*Providing an enterprise infrastructure that fuses the protected network, secure computing environment, and enterprise services to enable information sharing.

*Delivering command-and-control and information-sharing services built upon the enterprise infrastructure.

*Ensuring the ability to operate and assure agile, responsive, “always on” capabilities with the right technology and procedures to rapidly respond and surge to meet global situations and demands.

This is something DISA cannot do alone. We are committed to working with our mission partners to integrate and synchronize the design, engineering, and provisioning of protected networks to enable enterprise services end to end.  

The articles that follow will describe the effects that DISA and our partners will achieve as we enable joint warfighting globally.