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New DISA Global facility ushers in future of cyber-security measures

The Defense Information Systems Agency is a combat support agency of the Department of Defense and is composed of nearly 6,000 civilian employees; more than 1,500 active duty service members; and approximately 7,500 defense contractors. DISA provides, operates, and assures command and control and information-sharing capabilities in direct support to joint warfighters, national level leaders, and other mission and coalition partners. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Clayton Lenhardt/Released)

The Defense Information Systems Agency is a combat support agency of the Department of Defense and is composed of nearly 6,000 civilian employees; more than 1,500 active duty service members; and approximately 7,500 defense contractors. DISA provides, operates, and assures command and control and information-sharing capabilities in direct support to joint warfighters, national level leaders, and other mission and coalition partners. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Clayton Lenhardt/Released)

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. --

After a decade of planning and three years of construction, Defense Information Systems Agency Global Operations Command is unveiling its $100 million facility during a ribbon cutting ceremony Aug. 11.

The 164,000 sq. ft. DISA Global complex houses the United States’ premier cyber-protection division built to execute global mission support and emergency response coordination. The facility boasts a Gold Leeds Certification for energy efficiency while remaining earthquake-proof and capable of withstanding the force of an F-3 tornado.

The project, completed on-schedule and $13 million under-budget, consolidates more than 950 civilian, military and contracted employees to Scott Air Force Base, with plans to grow that number in the future.

“In a period of sequestration, we are actually growing as an organization. The cyber terrain has become the next battleground,” said Dana Rowe, DISA Global deputy commander.

With the increased emphasis on prioritizing cyber-security in the 21st century, the new facility was specifically designed to meet the needs of the modern warfighter. Along with containing the most advanced networking systems available to the Department of Defense, the complex hosts the largest cyber operations center in the United States. The 20,000 sq. ft. operations center is capable of monitoring the nation’s vast cyber infrastructure.

Mission success at Scott AFB depends on Active, Guard, and Reserve personnel from multiple branches of service working side-by-side. The need for increased communication between DoD departments is addressed with the newly minted DISA Global facility. The Air Force and Marines have already relocated their cyber-protection teams to the building.

“We’re integrating Army Reserve forces from St. Louis, Colorado and Alabama. The Air Force Reserve units are now drilling here, and we are working on bringing the National Guard from Missouri. Now we have a facility that can do cyberspace operations and defense integration,” said Col. Paul Craft, DISA Global commander.

With the facility playing a pivotal role in national security, the well-being and quality of life standards of the DISA Global employees were carefully considered.

“People spend eight to 10 hours a day here, so that’s why there was a real emphasis on improving the workplace for everyone and why we developed the wellness center here,” said Ron Black, DISA Global business management chief.

The wellness center is comprised of 3,200 sq. ft. of fitness equipment and locker room space available to DISA Global employees 24 hours a day. Along with the wellness center, DISA Global has also contracted to open a McAlister’s Deli in the facility.

McAlister’s Deli will be opening Aug. 15 and is accessible to all Scott AFB employees.

As for the future of the facility, DISA Global plans to make use of their improved space to collaborate with organizations both within and outside the DoD. With custom-designed training rooms, DISA Global hopes organizations will take advantage of the opportunity to get hands-on experience in cyber-protection.

“We’ve partnered with the Technology Learning Center at Washington University and Saint Louis University. Col. Craft has an initiative to bring in Communications Electronics Command and establish a communications university construct here,” said Rowe.

In a world of growing cyber-security concerns, the opening of the DISA Global complex is a step closer to ensuring the United States remains the leader in innovation, communication and excellence.

“This platform creates an environment where we can operate, secure and defend the DoD’s network from right here at Scott AFB,” said Craft.