At a glance

Mission: To provide a seamless web of communications networks, computers, software, databases, applications and other capabilities that meet Defense Department users' information processing and transport needs in peacetime, as well as support for all crisis, conflict, humanitarian and wartime roles.

According to its Web site, DISA's main objective is to anticipate and respond to warfighter requirements by providing seamless, end-to-end, innovative and integrated information services that provide a complete picture of the battle space. The agency is responsible for planning, developing and supporting command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence and information systems that serve the National Command Authorities in peacetime and war.

Budget: Estimated at more than $1 billion.

History: Defense Secretary Thomas Gates started the Defense Communications Agency — the precursor to DISA — May 12, 1960. In the next 30 years, the agency's responsibility expanded to include a wide range of defense communications systems worldwide. It was redesignated as the Defense Information Systems Agency June 25, 1991.

Location: DISA is headquartered in Arlington, Va., and has 27 field and line offices worldwide, including Alaska, Hawaii and Germany.

Staff: 7,591 military and civilian employees.

Core mission areas: Global Command and Control System, Defense Information System Network, Defense Message System, Global Combat Support System, Defense Information Infrastructure Common Operating Environment, and Information Assurance.

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