DISA names Barnhart new chief of staff

The new chief of staff encouraged personnel to “come armed” with ideas on how to improve DISA’s relationship with its mission partners.
Lt. Col. Bradley Barnhart, 844th Communications Group commander, speaks to friends, family and Airmen attending the 844th CG Change of Command ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, Md., June 26, 2014. Barnhart took command of the 844th CG from outgoing commander Col. Kevin Payne. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Matt Davis)

The Defense Information Systems Agency has a new chief of staff

Air Force Col. Bradley Barnhart has been named chief of staff, “where he is now responsible for coordinating the efforts of DISA’s 8,000-member organization and the management of a $12 billion budget,” the agency announced in a release this week. He officially took over the position June 25, a DISA spokesperson told FedScoop.

Barnhart is a native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, with more than 25 years of cybersecurity and IT experience.

“My experiences from 13 assignments across the Air Force helps me understand there are multiple perspectives to each issue and gaining insight from several experts is critical to making good decisions,” he said in the release.


In one of those assignments, Barnhart commanded more than 500 airmen as the commander of the 86th Communications Squadron at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. That experience is helping him connect most with his new role, he said.

“Here, the organization is much larger, but my intention is to set an environment that makes it possible for DISA’s workforce to achieve the best result,” Barnhart said.

The new chief of staff encouraged personnel to “come armed” with ideas on how to improve DISA’s relationship with its mission partners.

“There is always more to be done in this area, and my goal, just like the director’s, is to make DISA the trusted information technology and cyber provider to connect and protect the warfighter in cyberspace,” he said.

His focus, he said, is on “building trust with the agency’s mission partners,” which isn’t surprising given that he spent two years as chief of the Mission Partner Engagement Office (MPEO).


“Being part of the MPEO team definitely gave me great insight into the business processes and services provided across the agency,” he said. “Those experiences give me the advantage of having at least a minimal understanding of the many processes to help expedite the solutions needed to address the issues that cross my desk.”

Samantha Ehlinger

Written by Samantha Ehlinger

Samantha Ehlinger is a technology reporter for FedScoop. Her work has appeared in the Houston Chronicle, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and several McClatchy papers, including Miami Herald and The State. She was a part of a McClatchy investigative team for the “Irradiated” project on nuclear worker conditions, which won a McClatchy President’s Award. She is a graduate of Texas Christian University. Contact Samantha via email at, or follow her on Twitter at @samehlinger. Subscribe to the Daily Scoop for stories like this in your inbox every morning by signing up here:

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