Coast Guard begins transition to joint regional security stacks

By Zarnell Photography shutterstock photo ID: 658921729 

The Coast Guard has begun taking steps to consolidate its data networks as part of the Defense Department's Joint Regional Security Stacks program.

Coast Guard Cyber Commander Kevin Lunday said the service is in the early stages of transitioning its data networks.

The Coast Guard is "beginning to test the transition in the new security stack for Coast Guard networks," called the Coast Guard Enterprise Mission Platform, Rear Adm.  Lunday, who is also the assistant commandant for Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Information Technology Service Center, told FCW at the Navy League's Sea Air Space Exposition April 10. "We worked through the Department of Defense governance board on when we're going to be in the sequence of when we migrate."

Lunday told FCW via email the service recently completed its Windows 10 migration, prompting the JRSS transition as part of a larger IT modernization project. "We are currently testing the migration of one of our Coast Guard connections to the rest of the DOD Information Network and out to the internet through a JRSS node," Lunday said via email. 

The Coast Guard is "on track to complete full migration for all Coast Guard boundary connections to the DOD Information Networks by the end of FY19," he wrote. 

For administrative purposes, the Coast Guard is part of the Department of Homeland Security, but it remains part of DOD's IT networks and its website has a dot-mil address.

DOD acting CIO Essye Miller announced in February that the department planned on completing its transition to JRSS by 2019 with 14 of the 25 planned security stacks already stood up across the network in the U.S., Europe, Pacific and Asia.

The Coast Guard has been a part of the JRSS project for 18 months as a member of the Defense Department's executive committee governing it. Lunday said current testing "is a milestone" effort that will include training Coast Guard Cyber Command personnel to operate within the JRSS nodes.

Lunday said it's too early in the migration process to talk about snags, but he did say the Coast Guard plans to leverage other services' experiences to help smooth its transition.

"We're looking to … learn from the other services that have already begun that migration," he told FCW, specifically "how they've managed it from the technical side, how they've managed it from the training of personnel for tools and capabilities in the joint regional security stack. So we're really just at the leading edge of that."

About the Author

Lauren C. Williams is senior editor for FCW and Defense Systems, covering defense and cybersecurity.

Prior to joining FCW, Williams was the tech reporter for ThinkProgress, where she covered everything from internet culture to national security issues. In past positions, Williams covered health care, politics and crime for various publications, including The Seattle Times.

Williams graduated with a master's in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park and a bachelor's in dietetics from the University of Delaware. She can be contacted at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter @lalaurenista.

Click here for previous articles by Wiliams.


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