Defense Collaboration Services

Monday, March 9, 2015

What is it?

Defense Collaboration Services (DCS) is an open source solution that will provide secure Web conferencing and instant messaging services for users on both the Sensitive but Unclassified Internet Protocol Network (NIPRNet) and the Secret Internet Protocol Router Network (SIPRNet). Web conferencing capabilities include the ability to record and playback sessions and also perform desktop sharing, white boarding, text chat, and polling/voting. Instant messaging capabilities include: persistent chat rooms, one-to-one chat, and presence information.

Why is this important to the Army?

DOD will transition Defense Connect Online to Defense Collaboration Services beginning in the first quarter of fiscal year 2015. As part of its "DISA First" initiative, DISA transitioned all of its employees to DCS upon declaration of initial operational capability in mid-December 2014. Other DOD users can use DCS now, and will transition no later than May 30, 2015.

By leveraging the milCloud virtual data center environment, DCS increases operational efficiencies by consolidating administrative, hardware, and software resources in a scalable, secure, and globally accessible solution. DCS will be available as an appropriated service, with no direct fee to end user organizations, and can be accessed at https://www.dcs.apps.mil.

Information stored within DCO, such as files, user accounts, conference rooms and contact listings, will not transition to DCS. Individual users are responsible to retrieve information stored on DCO and retain it on a local storage device. DCS is not a document repository and will not provide file storage, so it is important to retrieve from DCO and store information that requires future use or preservation, such as FOIA or congressional requests. Users can share documents from their preferred sites using URLs.

What is the Army doing?

Army organizations will transition from DCO to DCS March 1 - May 30, 2015. All organizations and users must complete their transition by May 30, 2015, to ensure all users are trained and meetings are transferred to DCS before the DCO contract ends. The DCO chat client, Jabber, also will terminate at the same time. Individuals with a Common Access Card (CAC) can register for an account. CAC tokens are used to authenticate when logging in to DCS. Guest access can be provided to coalition and mission partners without a CAC.

What does the Army have planned for the future?

Army personnel can participate in live training sessions intended to help end users become familiar with the features and functions of DCS. These training sessions will be offered every Tuesday and Thursday at both 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. EST.

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It should be no surprise, especially to those that train our formations for combat, that Combat Casualty Care on the battlefield is Army Medicine's Number One Priority. Paramount to this priority is the clinical currency of our healthcare providers that balance their time serving in our fixed facilities with time serving in our deployable medical units.

- Lt. Gen. Patricia Horoho, U. S. Army's surgeon general and commanding general of U.S. Army Medical Command, during her visit to the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, California, March 2-3

- Army Surgeon General visits NTC: lauds 'realism' in training, healthcare at Irwin

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