Intercepts

DLA’s DVD disintegrator
The Interceptor spent much of the past week mired in the thousands of pages of the Defense Department’s fiscal 2008 budget request. It’s a hard read, but the reward is occasionally stumbling across line-item gems, such as one for the purchase of a DVD disintegrator.

A DVD disintegrator, I found out after a quick Web search, is like a paper shredder on steroids, with National Security Agency certification to boot. The Defense Logistics Agency said it needs such a critter because the National Imagery and Mapping Agency has moved production of its classified maps from paper to DVDs. Those are then distributed by the Defense Distribution Mapping Agency (DDMA), which is part of DLA.

When those DVD maps get old, it’s up to DDMA to disintegrate them. That’s a tough job. DLA said its disintegrator unit is five years old and needs frequent maintenance. It is undersized and does not meet ongoing mission requirements to dispose of DVDs.

So DLA has asked for $26,900 to buy a DVD disintegrator that can do the task. And according to budget documents, it looks like Dahle North America has just the machine to fit the task. EngineerSupply. com is running a Web special that meets the DLA disintegrator budget. The company is selling a Dahle model XC-100 for $26,995. That’s a $5,000 discount from the list price of $31,995, making it almost as good a deal as any you would find in a Wal-Mart post-Thanksgiving Day sale.

DISA shines on Sun and Dell
The Defense Information Systems Agency plans to build the Global Command and Control System-Joint (GCCS-J) in the next couple of years using a combination of Sun Microsystems and Dell servers.

DISA, according to the agency’s budget documents, plans to buy more than 120 high-powered Sun servers for GCCS-J in the next three years, including Sun Fire 1280, V890, V480, V280 and V240 servers powered by UltraSPARC processors.

The agency also plans to buy about 250 Intel Xeon-based PowerEdge servers from Dell for GCCS-J. That system will host the Collaborative Force-Building Analysis, Sustainment and Transportation system, which is supposed to help top DOD commanders reduce war planning time from two years to six months.

Let’s hope DISA will not have to reboot GCCS-J as often as I’m forced to reboot Windows, which is three times so far today. One wonders if Steve Ballmer has the same problem.

 DISA in, Navy out on Centrixs
The 2008 budget request shifts responsibility for the Combined Enterprise Regional Information Exchange System (Centrixs) from the Navy to DISA. In my estimation, DISA will have a hard time matching the skill and passion that Bob Stephenson brought to the program as chief technology officer for command, control, communications, computers and intelligence operations at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (Spawar).

As DOD moves to more joint operations with allies, Centrixs is essential because it offers networks that can operate at various levels of classification. Centrixs networks serve 78 different countries. Well-deserved kudos to Stephenson, SPAWAR and the Pacific Fleet — all of whom backed Centrixs in its infancy.

The system had an operations and maintenance budget of $268 million in fiscal 2007 and planned budgets of $25.34 million and $24.7 million in fiscal 2008 and 2009, respectively.

The White House’s digital TV problem
DISA’s White House Communications Agency (WHCA) must provide the president secure voice, video and data communications wherever he travels. It also must make sure White House TVs don’t go dark in 2009 when TV broadcasting in this country shifts from analog signals to digital.

WHCA disclosed in its 2008 budget request documents that it needs to upgrade video distribution facilities at all presidential facilities to make the analog-to-digital switchover before 2009. Maybe Dish Network could create a multiple-home, multiple-room special rate for WHCA.

You are not allowed to look at what we’re showing you
I was doing a Web search to find the location of a building where WHCA maintains its network hub in the Anacortes Naval Annex when I came across a page with driving instructions for the shuttle driver who makes the run between the White House and the annex building.

The information was posted on a publicly available Web site. It included a map of the shuttle bus route emblazoned with the headline “You Are Not Authorized to View This Page.” I confess I ignored the admonition.

The instructions say WHCA shuttle bus drivers “shall be appropriately dressed, in dress pants or skirt, dress shirt or blouse and tie.” They also “must not use profanity or make sexual or racial comments or gestures of any kind to any person while driving the shuttle.”

Good! I hate hearing remarks about the Irish when I’m on a shuttle bus.
WHCA also wants its shuttle drivers to obey all traffic enforcement laws and traffic signs and signals at all times, which means that the WHCA shuttle may be the only vehicle in Washington, D.C., in full compliance with traffic laws and signals.
 
Intercept something? Send it to bbrewin@fcw.com.

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