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DISA Supports DoD’s Rebalance of Security Efforts to the Asia-Pacific Region

The Defense Information Systems Agency's 2013-2018 strategic plan cites the agency's intention to plan, analyze, and assess requirements and deliver capabilities in support of the Department of Defense's (DoD) rebalance, or focus, of security efforts toward the Asia-Pacific region for communications and enterprise services.

A South Korean soldier briefs U.S. Army Gen Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on points of interest at the Demilitarized Zone in South Korea, Nov. 11, 2012. DoD photo by D. Myles Cullen.

The strategy aligns with DoD's priorities for a 21st century defense that sustains U.S. global leadership.

"The United States recognizes that our prosperity and our security depends […] on the Asia-Pacific region," said Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta during a speech in Singapore on June 2.

DISA support of the rebalance will include a mix of increased participation in U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) exercises and engagements with its multinational partners, increased enterprise infrastructure to support new mission requirements, and support to the Joint Information Environment (JIE) and the Future Mission Network (FMN) as these two capabilities evolve.

Contributions the agency makes will help PACOM meet projected increases in mission scope, as well as align the command with larger efforts like JIE and FMN, which seek to collapse service-specific and coalition-specific networks into enterprise information sharing networks with heightened identity and access management capabilities and security at the source.

U.S. relationships with Asian mission partners are critical to the future stability of the region. According to the DoD strategy, there will be an emphasis on sustaining and strengthening America's existing alliances, which provide a vital foundation for Asia-Pacific security. JIE and FMN will help U.S. forces cooperate with emerging partners throughout the Asia-Pacific region to ensure all partners have the technological capability and capacity needed to secure common interests.

"Our goal is to work closely with all of the nations of this region to confront common challenges and to promote peace, prosperity, and security for all nations in the Asia-Pacific region," said Panetta. "We will play an essential role in promoting strong partnerships that strengthen the capabilities of the Pacific nations to defend and secure themselves."

DISA has already 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), the Network Services Directorate (NS), and DISA Pacific (PAC) were able to plan, field, and successfully 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. Data was collected to support an initial operational assessment of CMNT.

The four main areas where DISA has the potential to continue to assist PACOM with the rebalance are:

1. Exercise/Engagement Support: PACOM's request for increased funding to support more exercises and engagements with its partners in the Asia-Pacific region means two things for DISA:

  • DISA may need to expand the agency's current 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.
  • DISA PAC will need to be prepared to provide increased support to regional exercises to meet expanding PACOM requirements.

2. Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance (ISR) Support: PACOM has requested increased ISR capabilities. To accommodate this request, DISA would need to increase/augment enterprise infrastructure to meet bandwidth requirements.

3. Joint Information Environment (JIE): PACOM has identified the evolution of JIE, a department-wide initiative that DISA leads the technology synchronization efforts for, as a requirement. JIE will be comprised of shared information technology (IT) infrastructure, enterprise services, and a single security architecture. This environment is meant to achieve full spectrum superiority, improve mission effectiveness, increase security, and realize IT efficiencies.

PACOM has begun planning to collapse current networks and IT onto a target JIE architecture consisting of enterprise services and data services. 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.

4. Future Mission Network (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.

DISA's support of the CMNT pilot consists of PEO-C2C, NS, and DISA PAC working together to install and operate the network's four nodes in the Pacific - two in Hawaii (which the team has already installed), one in Japan, and one in Korea. The current 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.




Posted November 14, 2012