- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 20, 2007

BALTIMORE (AP) — The Defense Information Systems Agency, one of the largest federal commands moving to Maryland in the military-base realignment program, has been running a telecommuting center at Fort Meade since January.

The agency plans to bring its 4,300 workers to the Army base by 2011, as part of the BRAC, or Base Realignment and Closure program.

The program will bring tens of thousands of defense jobs to Maryland, and DISA is the first in place in Maryland among those transferring workers.

“BRAC has been this intangible thing to a lot of us,” said Fort Meade’s commander, Col. Kenneth O. McCreedy, who announced the opening last week. “It didn’t have any form yet. With DISA planting a flag, it makes BRAC real.”

Staffers now work at the center instead of commuting to the agency’s three sites in Northern Virginia, according to the Baltimore Sun.

Defense officials hope the center, the third for DISA employees on the East Coast, will help in efforts to build a work force centered in Maryland as the agency moves to Fort Meade by 2011.

Crews will start building DISA’s $500 million headquarters at Fort Meade by the summer of 2008. The million-square-foot complex is expected to be completed in early 2011.

The deadline for agencies moving as part of BRAC is September 2011. Nearly 6,000 defense personnel are expected to move to Fort Meade because of BRAC.

The telecommuting center at Fort Meade has stations for 10 workers, but there’s space to accommodate as many as 50 within a few months. The agency has similar centers in Annapolis and Norfolk. Staffers usually work two days a week from the remote sites.

Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold, a Republican, said the presence of DISA, whose employees earn nearly $100,000 on average, “will provide a real shot in the arm of the economy.”

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