Intelligence masochist wanted

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence needs a chief information officer, Steve Selwyn of the CIA's CIO office told us earlier this month. We don't know any sane people who would want to take on such a painful task, but there's probably someone out there ready for the challenge.

Maybe Steve Cooper, the Homeland Security Department's recently departed CIO, would find the job of integrating networks and systems from 15 intelligence agencies a breeze compared with doing the same task for 22 agencies at DHS. On the other hand, maybe he is happy at the American Red Cross. The Government Accountability Office has no authority over the Red Cross.

Signaling in the rain

The House Armed Services Committee boosted fiscal 2006 funding by $4 million to $26 million for a National Security Agency tactical signal intelligence technology program dubbed Project Raincoat.

According to the committee's report on the fiscal 2006 Defense Authorization bill, the project uses a behavioral science approach and cues sensors to pre-identified signals activity based on operator experience, increasing search efficiency.

We love it when Congress lets us know about stuff the folks at Fort Meade, Md., would prefer to keep undercover.

A GIG-BE by any other name

That's our take on the Defense Information Systems Agency's approach to getting past security walls around the Global Information Grid-Bandwidth Expansion (shh!) nodes, which makes it difficult to issue a request for proposals for circuits that would connect those endpoints to outlying bases.

Tony Montemarano, DISA's GIG-BE boss, said a new network, dubbed the DISN Core, will include the GIG-BE fiber backbone, its nodes and any new circuits. And DISN Core will be unclassified.

We like this bit of fancy footwork and think John Stenbit, the former DOD CIO who hatched the whole GIG-BE security scheme — to frustrate pesky reporters, we think — should be invited to DISN Core's christening.

Boutelle phones from home with VOIP

Lt. Gen. Steve Boutelle, the Army's CIO, oversees the acquisition and deployment of billions of dollars' worth of exotic and unique military communications systems. But at home, he uses Vonage voice-over-IP (VOIP) phone service. Earlier this month at the TechNet International conference sponsored by AFCEA International, he told an audience that Vonage is the best thing going.

Boutelle also said he is enamored with WiMax technology and wonders how it fits with the Army's Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) strategy. So do we.

Boutelle believes the Defense Department needs to explore commercial technologies — such as WiMax, Wi-Fi and VOIP — because they work and are affordable. The $32 billion JTRS budget could probably equip everyone in DOD with a WiMax network, running Vonage VOIP, of course.

The right stuff

We've been privileged to go to the Friday night dinners for Iraq war amputees at Fran O'Brien's Stadium Steakhouse in the Capital Hilton, organized by Ed Meagher, deputy CIO at the Department of Veterans Affairs, and a couple of his Vietnam War veteran pals — Jim Mayer, a peer counselor at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and Hal Koster, the Washington, D.C., restaurant's co-owner.

Eat one dinner there and you will realize that these Iraq vets — upbeat as they adjust to life as amputees — deserve all the help they can get. That's why we're glad to see that the House Armed Services Committee has pumped an additional $10 million into the advanced amputee research and development account in the 2006 DOD Authorization bill, creating a proposed total of $84.7 million.

Those funds, the committee's report states, will help the vets "receive the kind of care that allows them to lead lives unconstrained by their amputation." Amen to that.

Intercept something? Send it to or

The 2015 Federal 100

Meet 100 women and men who are doing great things in federal IT.


  • Shutterstock image (by venimo): e-learning concept image, digital content and online webinar icons.

    Can MOOCs make the grade for federal training?

    Massive open online courses can offer specialized IT instruction on a flexible schedule and on the cheap. That may not always mesh with government's preference for structure and certification, however.

  • Shutterstock image (by edel): graduation cap and diploma.

    Cybersecurity: 6 schools with the right stuff

    The federal government craves more cybersecurity professionals. These six schools are helping meet that demand.

  • Rick Holgate

    Holgate to depart ATF

    Former ACT president will take a job with Gartner, follow his spouse to Vienna, Austria.

  • Are VA techies slacking off on Yammer?

    A new IG report cites security and productivity concerns associated with employees' use of the popular online collaboration tool.

  • Shutterstock image: digital fingerprint, cyber crime.

    Exclusive: The OPM breach details you haven't seen

    An official timeline of the Office of Personnel Management breach obtained by FCW pinpoints the hackers’ calibrated extraction of data, and the government's step-by-step response.

  • Stephen Warren

    Deputy CIO Warren exits VA

    The onetime acting CIO at Veterans Affairs will be taking over CIO duties at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

  • Shutterstock image: monitoring factors of healthcare.

    DOD awards massive health records contract

    Leidos, Accenture and Cerner pull off an unexpected win of the multi-billion-dollar Defense Healthcare Management System Modernization contract, beating out the presumptive health-records leader.

  • Sweating the OPM data breach -- Illustration by Dragutin Cvijanovic

    Sweating the stolen data

    Millions of background-check records were compromised, OPM now says. Here's the jaw-dropping range of personal data that was exposed.

  • FCW magazine

    Let's talk about Alliant 2

    The General Services Administration is going to great lengths to gather feedback on its IT services GWAC. Will it make for a better acquisition vehicle?

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above