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Norton passes command of JFHQ-DODIN and directorship of DISA to Skinner

DISA Public Affairs

FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. – Air Force Lt. Gen. Robert Skinner assumed command of the Joint Force Headquarters – Department of Defense Information Network and directorship of the Defense Information Systems Agency during a ceremony held at the organizations’ joint headquarters on Fort George G. Meade Feb. 26.

Army Gen. Paul Nakasone, commander of U.S. Cyber Command, director of the National Security Agency and chief of the Central Security Service and John Sherman,acting Department of Defense chief information officer, presided over the ceremony, during which retiring Navy Vice Adm. Nancy Norton relinquished command and directorship after 34 years of service to the nation.

“Under Nancy’s leadership, JFHQ-DODIN which was established a little over five years ago, has matured in its role to secure, operate and defend the DoD Information Network,” said Nakasone. “This mission area is one of the department’s, and my, top priorities. Unity of effort and synchronization of the department’s network defense has been a hallmark of her tenure as commander.”

Sherman said, “It was so obvious what you had done, Admiral, to make the entire enterprise more modern, more advanced, and of course, as General Nakasone just said, more secure. We are eternally grateful for your service and leadership on that front.”

He added his praise for the legacy Norton leaves behind. “DISA is a combat support agency and I’m so proud to say that, the military does not go to battle without DISA and we do not keep the peace without the capacity, capability and expertise DISA brings to the fight,” said Sherman.

Norton shared her thoughts on her time at DISA. “To the men and women of DISA and Joint Force Headquarters DODIN, as I reflected on my time at the helm, I went back to my first day note to you. And the words proved out. I told you that I would pour my heart and sweat into this role, and I did – even more than I expected. I swell with pride in what you delivered. I asked you to join me to continuously improve ourselves, and our service. We made getting better part of who we are,” said Norton.

Norton added, “I told you that I am privileged and humbled to be entrusted to lead you. My humility grew each day as I watched you find ways to meet our commitments in spite of major obstacles, lack of resources and even a pandemic. I said that we would have challenges ahead and our mission would not get easier. I had no idea how true that would be.”

After the change of command and directorship, Skinner spoke about his new role. “Our goal each and every day is to be better than the day before.”

“Our job, and I would say our responsibility, can be summed up in a few words: Velocity of action to win,” added Skinner. “We are the operational technologists that are bringing innovative technology to the warfighter each and every day. We must act with the speed and direction to stay ahead of the competition and provide our senior leaders with decision space, and our warfighters with operational maneuver. We are the backbone of these operational forces. We are also the command and control experts who are maneuvering the DoDIN and the forces on the DoDIN to build, operate, secure and defend our department’s information networks.”

Skinner concluded his remarks by reminding the workforce of who DISA and JFHQ-DODIN serve. “My charge to you is that each and every day we must say: What have I done for the warfighter? What have I done for our mission partners?”


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Published February 26, 2021