General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT) announced Monday that it collaborated with the U.S. Army’s I Corps to successfully demonstrate the first-ever zero trust at the edge capability at Talisman Sabre 2023 military exercise in Australia.

According to GDIT, this marked the first-ever demonstration of a zero trust capability in the field to support denied, disrupted, intermittent, and limited operations – contested battlefield environments with little to no internet connectivity. It was also the first time a zero trust capability was fielded at the tactical edge and integrated with foreign mission partners.

“Our national security is intrinsically tied to our ability to securely and effectively share vital information with trusted allies,” said Brian Sheridan, GDIT’s senior vice president for the defense division. “Having a zero trust at the edge capability will provide our combatants with a critical advantage over our adversaries. It also advances the Pentagon’s Combined Joint All-Domain Command and Control (CJADC2) initiative.”

The CJADC2 strategy is one that looks to link all the United States military domains to allow for seamless data sharing among mission spaces. The initiative also aims to connect the sensors, shooters, and command nodes of each of the six branches of the military in a mesh network.

The Department of Defense has been increasingly focusing on zero trust, a cybersecurity initiative to ensure the perpetual security of networks, applications, and data.

Sponsored by the U.S. Army Pacific and working with I Corps, GDIT and its strategic cyber partner Fornetix conducted a set of exercises designed to enable rapid, secure, and seamless data sharing between global mission partners.

GDIT accomplished this by leveraging its internal investment in zero trust tactical edge capabilities, the company said. GDIT and Fornetix completed the integration of a fully accredited solution to meet the Army’s mission, leveraging Fornetix technology to enable access control to mission data.

“We are very pleased with the outcome of Talisman Sabre 2023,” said Joshua Toffler, chief executive officer of Fornetix. “Fornetix and GDIT have worked seamlessly together and have collectively demonstrated that Fornetix VaultCore technology provides unprecedented zero trust capability at the tactical edge. We look forward to continuing our partnership with GDIT and further deployments of advanced cybersecurity technologies.”

Talisman Sabre is a multinational military exercise run biennially by the Australian Defence Force and U.S. Indo-Pacific Command.

It brings together thousands of soldiers and sailors who practice collaborating with mission partners in a joint environment to support operations and maintain stability in the region.

Talisman Sabre 2023, which took place in Australia from July 22 to Aug. 4, was the tenth such exercise and the largest one ever, the press release noted, convening more than 30,000 military personnel from 13 countries.

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Cate Burgan
Cate Burgan
Cate Burgan is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.