Intercepts

New CIO?

Former Westinghouse Electric Corp. executive Francis Harvey is the leading candidate to replace the retiring John Stenbit, assistant secretary of Defense for networks and information integration and chief information officer, Defense Department and industry officials said.

"I've heard that name a lot," a DOD program manager said.

The Bush administration has considered Harvey's nomination since May and is close to submitting his name to Congress, insiders say.

His name first surfaced in the Sept. 8 issue of "Inside the Army," a Washington, D.C.-based online and newsletter publication.

A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Notre Dame University with doctorate and bachelor degrees in materials science and engineering, Harvey worked for Westinghouse for 28 years, eventually becoming the company's chief operating officer of its $5 billion Industries and Technology Group in Pittsburgh before leaving in 1997, according to his bio.

Harvey has ties to the Carlyle Group LLC, a powerful Washington, D.C., investment banking firm. He served from 2001-2002 as vice chairman and acting chief executive officer of the firm's IT Group, which primarily cleans up DOD and Energy Department facilities. He now holds the vice chairman post for Duratek Inc., which helps operate government and industry nuclear facilities.

By hook or by crook

Coalition forces' systems were spliced together in a very short time for Operation Iraqi Freedom, said Vice Adm. Timothy Keating, U.S. Central Command's chief of naval forces and commander of the Navy's 5th Fleet, which is based in Bahrain.

Incompatible systems and the inability to share some data could have had serious repercussions, but on-the-fly innovations saved the day, Keating said Sept. 4 at the Marine Corps Association and U.S. Naval Institute's 2003 Forum.

Command and control initially was an issue for allied naval forces, but problems were quickly worked out, Keating said. "There wasn't a single event where we had to shift an assignment from a coalition [ship] because of our inability to communicate," he said.

Central Command oversaw 180 ships, of which 65 were allied vessels during the height of operations, Keating said. DOD's classified Secret Internet Protocol Router Network was deployed on coalition ships to achieve continuity and speed of command, but a U.S. sailor administered it because the Navy was not permitted to release the technology to coalition partners.

ITES awards due soon

The Army this week will whittle down contractors bidding for the $800 million contract to overhaul its information technology infrastructure, industry officials said.

Companies competing for the service's Information Technology Enterprise Solutions (ITES) contract include Computer Sciences Corp., EDS, General Dynamics Corp., IBM Corp., Lockheed Martin Corp., Northrop Grumman Corp., Science Applications International Corp. and Unisys Corp., they said.

ITES will have up to five vendors in its two modules — hardware and mission support services — said Kevin Carroll, the Army's program executive officer for Enterprise Information Systems.

Logistics breakdowns

The U.S. military's vaunted logistics and supply system, decked out with radio frequency identification, did not perform as well as some DOD officials would have liked. Troops driving toward Baghdad were held to strict rules to preserve supplies.

Marines carried in supplies on their backs, and it was the combat service support group's determination that kept them taken care of when resupplies were few and far between, said Marine Maj. Gen. James Nattis, commanding general of the 1st Marine Division, which fought in Iraq.

To preserve fuel, Marines could not let vehicles idle longer than 10 minutes, and they also used captured fuel to keep the drive to Baghdad moving along, Nattis said. Discarding uneaten ready-to-eat meals also was a serious breach of conduct, he said.

Despite DOD's touting of its newest innovations in logistics control, supplies did not reach those who needed them most: Marines and soldiers on the front lines.

JSTARS grows up

The Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS) was used in the Persian Gulf War in 1991 with limited success. But commanders who scorned the system then embraced its capabilities in Operation Iraqi Freedom — and not just to spy on the enemy.

Nattis became a JSTARS convert when he used the system to plan a road trip to Baghdad. "The Army gave us [access to the system], and we were able to clock civilian vehicles on a dirt road going 95 kilometers per hour. I said, 'We'll take that highway,' " he said.

Nattis said determining which route to take north to the Iraqi capital could have meant the difference between a lightning victory or a snail's-pace campaign. The aircraft-based system, managed by the Air Force and Army, uses sophisticated radar sensors to track ground vehicles. n

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