At home in the DISA Louisiana megacenter

For most of the past two weeks since Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, the Defense Information Systems Agency’s data-processing megacenter in Slidell, La., has not processed a lot of data but has served as a barracks and chow hall for employees of the facility, their families and local first responders.

A DISA spokesman said that shortly after Katrina passed, power and air conditioning were restored to the facility, little damaged by the storm, and it was turned into an ad hoc shelter, which now houses 120 people. It also serves 360 meals a day, the spokesman said.

DISA has installed a satellite communications terminal facility, which provides vital voice, video and data links for its employees, local first responders and representatives of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the spokesman said.

Supplies, including food, water and clothing for the personnel who temporarily call the megacenter home, were donated and trucked to Slidell by DISA’s Joint Interoperability Test Center and the 111th Military Intelligence Brigade, both based at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., the spokesman said.

The Base Realignment and Closure Commission selected the Slidell facility for closure, with its work slated to be transferred to other data center in the Northeast later this decade.

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