WIESBADEN, Germany -- The Lt. Gen. Robert E. Gray Regional Cyber Center Europe was named the Defense Information Systems Agency's 2016 Outstanding External Contributor of the Year at a ceremony March 30, 2017 at DISA Europe in Stuttgart.The award recognizes an individual or organizational mission partner that has made a significant contribution to DISA's ability to accomplish its mission requirements and goals. Specifically, the Gray Cyber Center was recognized for process improvements and communications excellence in support of DISA Europe and units and users across Europe and Africa, including U.S. European Command and U.S. Africa Command.Bill Lamm, chief of DISA Europe Enterprise Operations Center, said, "In a resource constrained theater of operations with multiple organizations vying for the most cost effective/efficient communications and cyber solutions, the 5th Regional Cyber Center Europe has been DISA's closest partner and a vital cog in the operational machine that supports two combatant commands in a communications environment always under constant threat."The Gray Cyber Center supported DISA by working to enhance cyber defense, hosting DISA subject matter experts for workshops and conferences, providing advanced analytics and analysis that speeds incident response and mitigation, and by developing processes to synchronize workflows across units.Col. Rob Parker, commander of 5th Signal Command (Theater), said inspections and awards confirm the high level of skills, competency and expertise at which the Gray Cyber Center performs daily."Our highly skilled military and Department of the Army Civilian leaders and technicians are experts in operations within the cyber domain. Their skills are honed daily through advanced training and on-net operations while routinely undergoing demanding joint and DA-level performance inspections," he said.Parker said operating in an emerging and dynamic security environment such as Europe ensures the Gray Cyber Center always stays on top of its game."They are actively learning and applying new techniques, tactics and procedures to ensure a robust defense in depth exists to protect critical networks. These actions are essential to providing senior mission commanders in theater, and globally, the maximum freedom of maneuver in cyberspace while denying the same to our adversaries, a key element of our core mission," he said.The Gray Cyber Center is named after Lt. Gen. Robert E. Gray, a former U.S. Army Europe deputy commander and chief of Signal. The state-of-the-art facility manages and defends the U.S. Army's communications network throughout Europe and Africa.---5th Signal Command (Theater) builds, operates and defends network capabilities to enable mission command and create tactical, operational and strategic flexibility for the Army, joint and multinational forces in the U.S. European Command and U.S. Africa Command areas of responsibility.