FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. - The largest office complex in Anne Arundel County officially opened on April 19 with the ribbon-cutting of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) at Fort Meade.

DISA Director Army Lt. Gen. Carroll Pollett hosted the event, held in the main building on the 1.1 million-square-foot campus.

In his remarks, Pollett thanked "our partners who have helped us to get here, and our employees who have made this move successful." Guests included Department of Defense Chief Information Officer Teri Takai, Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, Sen. Ben Cardin, and Maryland Lt. Governor Anthony Brown.

DISA's complex consists of seven buildings on 95 acres. Besides a conference center, education center, test and evaluation labs, offices, dining facility and separate health and fitness centers, the complex has its own warehouse and water supply.

More than 4,000 government civilian employees, active duty military and contractors will eventually occupy the complex by August. About 200 workers are relocating each week from northern Virginia office buildings during a phase-in period.

In total, DISA employs 7,500 military and civilian personnel on military bases around the U.S. and the world. The agency engineers and provides command and control capabilities and infrastructure to continuously operate and assure a global net-centric enterprise that enables the U.S. military to accomplish their missions.

At the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Maryland's elected officials made brief remarks.

"I want to welcome the DISA employees and their families to Maryland. I know how hard it is to move, and I want you to know I'm on your side," Mikulski said.

"I fought to get the funding necessary to build the DISA headquarters and the transportation infrastructure to go with it. I will keep fighting for jobs today and jobs tomorrow - high-tech jobs that can never been sent overseas," she said.

"Maryland has received international recognition as one of the premier 21st century locations for information technology and technology-based intelligence," said Cardin.

"This new Defense Information Systems Agency headquarters is first class and will ensure that our nation has the resources it needs to provide our nation's leaders with the reliable information and communications that are critical to protect our nation," he said.

Also addressing the attendees was Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, ranking member of the House Committee on Intelligence. "I know how critical DISA's work is in keeping our nation's defense and intelligence agencies communicating, connected and secure.

"DISA is making sure warfighters around the globe have real-time access to secure network information and the technologies that keep them safe. The thousands of jobs DISA will bring with this state-of-the-art building are a great windfall for Maryland and Anne Arundel County and I am proud to call this agency my new constituent," said Ruppersberger.

Congressman John Sarbanes said, "We are fortunate that BRAC is bringing thousands of new jobs to Maryland. I am particularly excited about welcoming DISA because they have established a model telework policy that will help mitigate traffic coming on and off the base." Sarbanes authored a law to promote telework within the federal government.

Brown is chair of the Governor's BRAC Subcabinet in Maryland. He welcomed DISA and its employees to the state. "We have been able to make this day a reality due to our strong partnerships with DISA leadership, Maryland's Congressional delegation and the local community. It is an honor to support DISA's work to provide our brave men and women in uniform with the real time information they need to defend our nation."

Brown noted that DISA's "cutting-edge approach to information processing" fits the state's innovation economy. "Base realignment in Maryland means more jobs, a stronger economy and better support for our troops, and I will keep working to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible," said Brown.

The Fort Meade complex will serve as DISA's headquarters for its worldwide field commands.