GIG-BE program director Montemarano gets new assignment

Tony Montemarano has received widespread acclaim across the Defense Department for spearheading a program that not only brought much-needed bandwidth to sites globally, but did so on schedule and on budget.

But now that the Global Information Grid-Bandwidth Expansion program is one week from full operational deployment, Montemarano will soon take a month off before coming back to a new job at the Defense Information Systems Agency.

Montemarano, the program director of GIG-BE, has been promoted to joint program executive officer for network operations and security at DISA.

Although he'll officially take over his new responsibilities in January, Montemarano has been meeting with representatives from the National Security Agency and the Office of the Secretary of Defense to learn about the security environment currently facing Defense networks. He also plans to meet with the armed services and Defense agencies as well.

"Within my new role, I'll be establishing the boundaries of the office and trying to come up with a solution so I complement existing initiatives," Montemarano said. "There is a bit of a gap there, and we're looking at putting a more programmatic focus on our information assurance initiatives as well as our network operations. This office will try to look at a more holistic approach to IA [information assurance]."

"We will enhance the infrastructure and provide better tools to the Joint Task Force for Global Network Operations. IA is becoming more and more a dominant factor on what we're trying to do," he added.

Since 2003, Montemarano has headed up GIG-BE, an $860 million program to bring a high-speed, high-capacity switched optical fiber network with throughput of 10 Gbps to 86 sites across the world. The network is currently at 75 sites and is expected to reach the remaining 11 sites by Nov. 18, according to Montemarano.

The GIG-BE office will now integrate into the Defense Information Systems Network office, where the existing DISN and new GIG-BE network infrastructures will be optimized, he added. That office is headed by Rick Fleming, chief of the Center for Network Services.

"The DISN today largely is supported by leased bandwidth, whereas GIG-BE now owns the bandwidth," Montemarano explained. "We're trying to get rid of the leased."

Montemarano's new job is part of a restructuring at DISA. He, along with three other joint program executive officers, will report to Diann McCoy, the component acquisition executive at DISA.

Air Force Lt. Gen. Charles Croom, director of DISA, said Montemarano was selected for one of the toughest jobs at the agency.

"Because he's so good, we want to give him the most difficult task we have and one of the most urgent we have, and that's securing our networks," Croom said. "So we're going put him on top of a program that will address multiple programs for net operations and network security. And we hope his hard-driving, get-it-done philosophy will carry through on that very important area."


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