DISA on the lookout for unknown technologies

The Defense Information Systems Agency is looking for independent capabilities brokers who can bring the agency technologies now unknown to the defense industry.

The response to a request for information from DISA’s program executive office for command and control programs has been substantial, an agency official said at a DISA Forecast to Industry program Sept. 24 in Washington.

“The idea behind capabilities brokers is to serve as DISA’s independent eyes, ears and arms to look for capabilities,” said Dave Bennett, DISA’s deputy director for command and control systems. “We are looking for specific solutions to specific questions relating to the Net-Enabled Command Capability. We will be looking for a large entity that will operate with no strings attached and no conflicts of interest with respect to proprietary solutions or products.”

Bennett said that a request for proposals may be issued in the first quarter of fiscal 2008, after his office completes evaluations of the responses to the RFI.

The program office is focused on four areas, Bennett said, all of which are in operational use to some degree:
  • Global Command and Control System
  • Global Combat Support
  • Adaptive planning and
  • Multinational Information Sharing

The Global Command and Control System “is used for cross-department command and control at the joint level,” he said. “It provides capabilities for the intelligence, force projection, readiness and situational-awareness arenas. Some capabilities are deployed in theater and in the Horn of Africa, especially in the intelligence area.”

The system is moving through the second release of its sixth phase.

“It is being used by warfighters as well as logistics folks,” Bennett said. “The system is leveraging some existing capabilities as well as providing a single gateway to the community via a single sign on.”

Adaptive planning “is a major buzzword in the building,” Bennett said.

One of its latest projects involves force management integration, which automates battlefield requirements planning at the enterprise, rather than the service-unique, level. DISA provides database capabilities to this project.

Multinational Information Sharing is in the process of being centralized at two Defense Enterprise Computing Centers, one in Columbus, Ohio, and one in the Pacific.

DISA’s contracting strategy involves working with existing indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contracts. “As we move through fiscal year 2008, we will look to use those to provide existing capabilities as well as new developmental efforts,” Bennett said.

Buxbaum is a freelance writer in Bethesda, Md.

About the Author

Peter Buxbaum is a special contributor to Defense Systems.

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