Defense Information Systems Agency

Definition of Defense Information Systems Agency

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is a United States Department of Defense (DoD) agency responsible for providing and managing information technology (IT) and communications support for the President, Vice President, Secretary of Defense, military services, and combatant commands. Its primary function is to ensure secure and reliable communication for the DoD’s users while maintaining cybersecurity and protecting the nation’s cyber infrastructure. DISA develops, deploys, and maintains various IT systems and services required for the DoD’s mission-critical operations.


The phonetic spelling of “Defense Information Systems Agency” using the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is:/dɪˈfɛns ˌɪnfərˈmeɪʃən ˈsɪstəmz ˈeɪʤənsi/Here’s a breakdown of each word:- Defense: /dɪˈfɛns/- Information: /ˌɪnfərˈmeɪʃən/- Systems: /ˈsɪstəmz/- Agency: /ˈeɪʤənsi/

Key Takeaways

  1. The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is a combat support agency responsible for operating, managing, and securing the Department of Defense’s information networks and systems.
  2. DISA provides communication, computing, and information technology support to the President of the United States, Secretary of Defense, military services, and other federal agencies, ensuring their ability to conduct global military operations.
  3. Key services provided by DISA include network defense, cybersecurity, cloud computing, and command and control support, with the objective of integrating and delivering enterprise-wide, innovative IT solutions to enhance the nation’s defense capabilities.

Importance of Defense Information Systems Agency

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is a vital entity within the United States Department of Defense, primarily responsible for managing, operating, and securing the department’s information technology (IT) infrastructure.

Its importance stems from the crucial role it plays in providing communication, computing, and cybersecurity services to support military operations and national defense.

By maintaining secure, reliable, and resilient command and control systems, DISA ensures the effectiveness and survivability of the defense systems and networks, thus safeguarding the country’s strategic interests and the security of its military forces.

In an era where cyber warfare and digital espionage are increasingly prevalent, DISA’s mission remains essential in maintaining the technological edge and superiority of the U.S.

military forces.


The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) serves as a critical component in ensuring the security and seamless communication within the United States Department of Defense (DoD) and various government agencies. Its primary purpose is to safeguard and manage the information infrastructure that serves as the backbone of national defense operations.

As the powerhouse behind the military’s communication systems, DISA provides the necessary tools, resources, and services that facilitate seamless information sharing and decision-making for both military and civilian authorities. Its ability to maintain stable and secure communication channels is vital for mission coordination, operational planning, and maintaining situational awareness across different levels of command.

Apart from serving the communication needs, DISA is also tasked with the responsibility of developing and implementing effective cyber security measures to protect the extensive and sensitive data crucial to the country’s defense operations. This encompasses robust network defense mechanisms, monitoring potential cyber threats, and ensuring the highest level of information assurance in all aspects of communication.

Moreover, DISA works to continuously innovate and upgrade its technologies, enabling the United States military to efficiently operate their information systems and networks in the rapidly evolving digital landscape. This steadfast commitment to maintaining technological superiority ensures that the defense forces are fully equipped to safeguard and act in the best interests of the nation, both domestically and internationally.

Examples of Defense Information Systems Agency

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) plays a crucial role in providing communication and information technology support to the United States Department of Defense (DoD) and other federal agencies. Here are three real-world examples of DISA’s technologies:

Joint Regional Security Stacks (JRSS): The JRSS is a centralized, virtualized security architecture developed by DISA to protect and defend the DoD’s Information Network (DoDIN) from cyber threats. By consolidating numerous network security stacks into a single, integrated structure, DISA helps create a more efficient and effective cybersecurity system. In addition to providing support for DoD operations, JRSS also actively monitors and defends against potential cyber threats to the United States.

DoD Mobility Program: DISA manages the DoD Mobility Program, which provides secure mobile devices to more than 100,000 military and government personnel. By incorporating secure smartphone technology, the program allows for real-time communication and data sharing across both tactical and strategic missions. The program emphasizes the development of secure apps and services with encryption and multi-factor authentication, which ensures the security of classified information in the field.

Global Video Services (GVS): DISA’s GVS provides video teleconferencing capabilities for the DoD, supporting collaboration and communication among military personnel, civilian employees, and contractors. This scalable, cloud-based technology enables secure real-time visual communication across a vast array of devices and networks. GVS is used extensively by military leadership for real-time strategic planning and crisis management, enabling better decision-making and coordination during critical operations.

Defense Information Systems Agency FAQ

1. What is the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA)?

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is a United States Department of Defense (DoD) Combat Support Agency that provides communication and information technology support to the President, Vice President, Secretary of Defense, the military services, the combatant commands, and other DoD components.

2. What are the main responsibilities of DISA?

DISA’s primary responsibilities include providing secure and reliable communication and computing services, developing and implementing cybersecurity measures, facilitating access to data and services, and supporting joint and coalition operations planning and execution.

3. Where is DISA’s headquarters located?

DISA’s headquarters are located at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland, United States.

4. Who leads DISA?

DISA is led by a director, a three-star General or Flag Officer, and a civilian deputy director. The current DISA director is Lieutenant General (Lt Gen) Robert J. Skinner, and the deputy director is Christopher Barnhurst.

5. How is DISA organized?

DISA is organized into various directorates and field offices. The main directorates include Operations and Infrastructure, Development and Business, and Strategy and Engagement. The field offices support mission partners globally with their unique needs and requirements.

6. What are some of DISA’s key programs and services?

Some of DISA’s key programs and services are the Joint Regional Security Stacks (JRSS), the Global Information Grid (GIG), the Defense Information System Network (DISN), the Joint Service Provider (JSP), and the DoD Mobility program.

Related Technology Terms


  • Cybersecurity
  • Enterprise Infrastructure
  • Joint Interoperability
  • Secure Communications
  • Command and Control Systems


Sources for More Information


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