The Defense Department just got more mobile with its classified information.
Pentagon officials announced Wednesday a new Defense mobile capability has moved out of the pilot stage and will be incorporated into agency operations.
The new capability, created through a partnership between DOD’s IT arm, the Defense Information Systems Agency, and the National Security Agency, allows users to access classified voice and data up to the secret level from anywhere in the world.
The Pentagon plans to have 3,000 users by the second quarter of fiscal 2016.
The new mobile classified capability is one piece of the Pentagon’s Joint Information Environment plan, “where our war fighters and national-level leaders can access a secure infrastructure and applications from any device, anytime, anywhere,” said Kim Rice, DISA’s mobility portfolio manager, in a statement.
The new capability will replace the Secure Mobile Environment Portable Electronic Device system, which DISA will phase out July 30. The new program, Rice said, will improve call operability and offer a new mobile device management system expected to enhance security.
Importantly, the new capability offers “a new secure mobile device” with “enhanced graphics, improved sound quality and a longer battery life than earlier pilot devices.” In other words, Pentagon users will be carrying secure mobile devices akin to commercial smartphones with some of the same features, such as cameras, GPS and Bluetooth -- although they’ll be disabled for DOD use.
“This release is a big step toward being able to deliver secure mobile capabilities faster than we have ever seen before,” Rice said.
DOD officials plan to triple the number of active users in the near future.
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