DISA awards $16M contract to secure mobile capabilities

Secure collaboration and information-sharing goal of management software and application store.

A three-year, $16 million contract awarded June 27 by the Defense Information Systems Agency to Digital Management of Bethesda, Md., is intended to secure mobile devices across the Defense Department. The management software will include a set of policies and permissions to ensure security within the DOD user community.

DISA said the platform is expected to support 100,000 smartphones and tablets within the first year and 300,000 devices by the third.

Along with the management system, the contract also requires DMI to create and maintain a federated mobile application store to encourage user-driven innovation. “With tools like this, the smartphone generation joining our military will help us pioneer a new era of mobile command and control,” said Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in a June 27 speech at the Brookings Institution.

The effort is part of a larger mobility implementation plan led by DISA aimed at increasing the ability of warfighters to securely collaborate and share information, said Lt. Gen. Ronnie D. Hawkins Jr., DISA director.

Gen. Dempsey added that by mid-2014, iPads, iPhones and Android devices will be interoperable on secure 4G wireless networks. “By using off-the-shelf technology, we are bringing the full force of the tech revolution into the classified environment,” he said.

The initial contract award amount totals $2.9 million, with four six-month option periods.