Intercepts

New math; Harvey stonewall-banger; Brig. Gen. Midas; Bull in a china shop

New math

Army information technology programs lost $25 million last September when the service shifted money from the Installation Information Infrastructure Modernization Program to network consolidation.

In the fiscal 2005 budget, Army officials wanted to fully fund the servicewide initiative, but IT leaders decided to postpone their request until fiscal 2006 because of costs associated with the war in Iraq.

However, Army IT reclaimed that money — and more — when the service's logistics community transferred $165 million to buy commercial satellite communications so troops entering Iraq this spring and summer can more quickly order and receive supplies, according to Lt. Gen. Claude Christianson, the Army's top logistics officer.

So instead of Army IT squeezed $25 million, it's up $140 million.

Harvey stonewall-banger

When will a Republican senator call for a vote to confirm Francis Harvey?

In November 2003, President Bush nominated the former Westinghouse Electric Corp. executive and Carlyle Group LLC insider to replace John Stenbit, who retired last month as assistant secretary of Defense for networks and information integration and chief information officer.

In late January, Harvey testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee, which approved his nomination in February. For the past two months, his nomination has remained on the full Senate's Executive Calendar, according to a committee official.

Other Defense Department posts are also in flux. The nomination of Michael Wynne to move from acting status to officially become undersecretary of Defense for acquisition, technology and logistics is still before the committee. However, earlier this month, Air Force Secretary James Roche withdrew his nomination for secretary of the Army.

Some senators reportedly refused to vote on the Roche and Wynne nominations because the Bush administration declined to submit documents requested by senators investigating the Air Force's tanker-leasing deal with Boeing Co. But what's up with Harvey?

Brig. Gen. Midas?

The old adage says, "Be careful what you wish for — you just might get it."

Perhaps that was a lesson Brig. Gen. John Thomas, Marine Corps' CIO, never learned.

Like the Navy, the Marines are in the process of reducing the number of software applications they use as they move to the Navy Marine Corps Intranet. Much has been made of the 100,000 Navy applications that surfaced over the years, and many have questioned how that service let things get so out of hand.

Although a much smaller force, the Marines also found thousands of legacy applications in need of culling, but nowhere near the Navy's 100,000.

"We didn't have 100,000 apps, as the Navy did," Thomas said last month at the Naval IT Day sponsored by AFCEA International's Northern Virginia Chapter. "I wish we did, because that would mean that we had the money to buy them!"

A bull in a china shop

For those who harbor doubts about the Navy's devotion to NMCI, the vice chief of naval operations, Adm. Michael Mullen, put them to rest with a resounding thud.

Speaking at Naval IT Day, Mullen rebuked the Navy personnel who are resisting the changeover and complaining about problems.

"If you don't like it, leave," he said. "Because we're going to do this. Resistance to it is costing me money and costing me time, and I won't stand for it. I'll plow through or over anybody and do whatever it takes. We're not doing NMCI because it's a cute idea, but because it will provide a bridge — a road — to the efficiencies we want to achieve."

Although his comments aren't likely to end the debate about the system, an EDS insider said the NMCI contractor was elated to hear such strong support from the highest levels of the service.

Intercept something? Send it to antenna@fcw.com.

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