Air Force Maj. Gen. Sarah Zabel, Vice Director of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), briefed the Maryland Military Installation Council on September 25 on DISA’s mission and economic impact. Since moving its headquarters to Fort Meade in 2011, the agency’s impact on the state’s economy continues to grow.
In fiscal year 2012, DISA awarded $947 million to Maryland-based businesses. Included in that amount was $225 million awarded to small businesses. This fiscal year, Gen. Zabel advised the Council that DISA has awarded $1.1 billion to Maryland businesses, with $435 million to small businesses. In terms of employment, DISA employed 834 Maryland residents in 2010. Today, 1,457 Maryland residents are employed by DISA.
Gen. Zabel also outlined DISA’s commitment to community outreach related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs. She referenced DISA’s partnership with the Fort Meade Alliance as it hosts the FMA’s fall Tech Mania program scheduled for October 22. In addition, employees also work directly with Anne Arundel County Public Schools on STEM programs, including a 4-day summer camp event as well as other STEM initiatives.
DISA’s mission continues to evolve and expand. Earlier this year, DISA stood up a new organization, the Joint Force Headquarters (JFHQ) Department of Defense Information Network (DODIN). The organization will provide centralized command and control of the Department of Defense’s networks. DISA Director Army Lt. Gen. Alan Lynn also serves as the Commander of JFHQ-DODIN. This creates the 6th major DoD Cyber Component Command located on Fort Meade.
As JFHQ-DODIN moves toward final operation capacity, Zabel said to expect to see a different footprint for the organization. This is a new mission that will continue to define the resources needed.
“You will see DISA continue its work as information technology combat support agency while JFHQ-DODIN takes on the role of defensive cyberspace operations for the Department of Defense,” Zabel said.