Innovative systems and capabili- ties may define U.S. military net- works within a handful of years if the Defense Information Sys-
tems Agency’s work with industry
pays the technological dividends the
agency expects. Officials within the
organization, also known as DISA,
aspire to exploit not only the new-
est ideas emerging from the private
sector but also technologies that have
not been fully developed. This strat-
egy would address the burgeoning
demands of modern coalition warfare
and protect against rapidly growing
cyberthreats as budgets constrict, says
the agency’s director, Lt. Gen. Alan R.
Lynn, USA, and commander of the
Joint Force Headquarters-Department
of Defense Information Networks
It could bring to fruition new technologies and improvements to existing technologies. New developments
could include software-based systems
that create virtual hardware across networks as well as exotic communication
links that provide large increases in
bandwidth throughout the battlespace.
Some upgrades could make greater
Pouring a quart out of a pint jar is the
use of existing commercial capabili-
ties, while others could introduce
seemingly innocuous small business
innovations that have powerful net-
The bar is high, but so are the stakes.
DISA is racing to remain ahead of
cyberthreats in the wake of mounting
budget pressures—the agency’s big-
gest challenge today, Gen. Lynn says.
The same budget concerns facing DISA
affect the JFHQ-DODIN, he adds. The
main difference between the two organi-
zations is that DISA occupies the build
side, while the JFHQ-DODIN defends
the built system. Funding is vital for
both endeavors. Fortunately, increased
funding authority for cyber means fewer
BY ROBERT K. ACKERMAN
Innovation, Efficiency Drive
Defense Information Systems
new way of military networking.
An EQ- 4 Global Hawk
equipped with a battlefield
node, which has been used to
link multinational coalition
ground and airborne assets,
prepares to depart on a
mission in Southwest Asia.
The Defense Information
Systems Agency (DISA) is
counting on innovation
to further its networking
among coalition partners.