By Amber Corrin
The Army has once again resumed migrating accounts to its enterprise e-mail system as of March 19, after Congress ordered a suspension of operations in the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, according to the Army deputy CIO.
“The Army [enterprise e-mail] report was delivered to Congress on Feb. 16, 2012. The Secretary of the Army certified that the Army's acquisition approach is in the best technical and financial interests of the Army, and provides for the maximum amount of competition possible,” Mike Krieger said in a post on the Army CIO blog. “The Army’s acquisition of DOD [enterprise e-mail] services is now a formal acquisition program.”
In December 2011, a provision in the NDAA suspended the Army’s enterprise e-mail funding pending reports submitted to Congress that detail how it fits in with broader Defense Department enterprise e-mail plans, the use of fair and open competition in upgrading DOD enterprise e-mail architecture and how the DOD CIO is handling the e-mail capabilities of the other military services.
According to Krieger, during the suspension the Army assigned enterprise e-mail program management to the Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Systems and designated a new program director, whom he didn’t name.
He said his office also revisited and is updating the service-level agreement for enterprise e-mail between the Army and the Defense Information Systems Agency, which is hosting the service.
“The teams are discussing several revisions based on lessons-learned from the past 12 months of operational experience. Concurrently, the Army is updating the concept-of-operations document, making drastic improvements to change IT management processes for existing and emerging [enterprise e-mail]-related tactics, techniques and procedures,” Krieger wrote. “These improvements will help with the success of enterprise services beyond e-mail as well.”
At the Belvoir Industry Days conference on March 19, Army CIO Lt. Gen. Susan Lawrence stressed that the enterprise e-mail program is about more than just e-mail messaging.
“We’re finding more and more ways to use this,” she said. “Enterprise e-mail is not about e-mail. It is about having a single identity, a single IP address that we can connect [a soldier] anywhere in the world – whether at home, working at the Pentagon or forward-deployed…you are connected.”
Krieger and Lawrence both commented on the network clean-up being driven by enterprise e-mail migration, which Lawrence called “a forcing function.”
According to Krieger, roughly 310,000 accounts have been migrated to enterprise e-mail, with the Secret IP Router Network migrations to begin in third quarter fiscal 2012. He said all accounts are expected to be migrated by the second quarter of fiscal 2013.
Posted on Mar 23, 2012 at 12:14 PM1 comments
Growth in defense spending during the past decade of war spurred the expansion of industry to support wartime requirements, but as the Defense Department faces a drop in spending commensurate with the drawdown of military operations, the private sector must also expect to shrink.
According to Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the average ratio of troops to contractors is now less than 1:1 – as opposed to during the Revolutionary War, when it was 6:1, a DOD release stated.
“It can’t keep going that way,” Dempsey said March 6 at Joint Operational Contract Support Leaders Conference in Washington.
According to a report from the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) released last May, spending on contract goods and services spiked during the past decade.
“Between 2001 and 2010, dollars obligated by the DOD to contract awards more than doubled, and contract spending far outpaced growth in other DOD outlays,” the report noted.
So what happens in the future?
Dempsey stressed the importance of making sure the institutional knowledge gained from 10 years at war isn’t lost for future conflicts, and the defense industry will have a role to play there.
Also, it will be key that DOD and its defense industrial base partners find the right balance in the public and private sectors. That’s an idea that was stressed in February by David Berteau, senior vice president and director of national security program at CSIS.
“It’s widely recognized by those of us in the national security community that we have a dependence on contractors unlike anything we’ve had in our lifetimes,” he said.
If there’s been overspending on contracted services and weapons systems over the course of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, both the blame and the solutions lie in both sides of the community.
“We don’t fix the problem by firing contractors; we fix the problem by better defining government requirements,” Berteau said, although he remained optimistic. “The reduction in the government will give us an optimistic reason to be sure that we’re going to do better because we’re going to have so much less.”
Posted on Mar 07, 2012 at 12:14 PM3 comments