WASHINGTON — The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) has opened a second operations watch floor to help operate and secure global information-sharing and command and control capabilities, according to a Sept. 12 press release from the agency.

The organization opened the new floor July 15 at Hill Air Force Base in Utah. The center is now known as DISA Global West. The original operations watch floor, DISA Global Operations Command, headquartered at Scott AFB, Illinois will now be known at DISA Global East.

Opening a second watch floor improves the survivability and redundancy of global network operations, the DISA statement said, and allows for what’s described as 24/7 “Active-Active” operations. “Active-Active” means that DISA is continuously available to provide operational and security capabilities, even if one of the two operation centers goes down. This added layer of redundancy is viewed as critical in an increasingly hostile cyber environment.

“In a world where our cyber adversaries are becoming more and more sophisticated in their abilities to infiltrate networks and interfere with services, Active-Active operations allows DISA Global to reduce continuity risks and make the Defense Information Systems Network and DISA services more agile and responsive,” said Laura Williams, the agency’s Active-Active program manager.

While dividing the work force between locations introduces new difficulties to operations, the agency is confident the move will improve resiliency without compromising capability.

“It’s always a challenge when you have a geographically separated work force,” said Army Col. Lisa Whittaker, DISA Global commander said in the release. “But we are a tremendous team coming together for this effort. The teammates that work at DISA Global West are closely integrated with those at DISA Global East. They work in the same divisions, have the same leadership, and use the same tools, techniques, tactics, and procedures on a daily basis.”

One reason teammates are able to stay on the same page despite being over 1,300 miles apart is the agency’s use of an Enterprise Virtual Watch Desk, which provides organizations across the agency a common picture of the operational network.

Daniel Cebul is an editorial fellow and general assignments writer for Defense News, C4ISRNET, Fifth Domain and Federal Times.

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