Is the GIG(-BE) up?

Congress wants a report in six months on a test of the "maturity and effectiveness" of the Defense Information Systems Agency's Global Information Grid-Bandwidth Expansion (GIG-BE) program, according to language buried in the fiscal 2005 Defense Authorization bill.

The language directs the Defense Department secretary to identify "the extent to which the GIG-BE architecture does not meet the overall goals of the GIG-BE program" and "the components of that architecture that are not sufficiently developed" to achieve the overall goals of that program.

Hmm. It appears that some Capitol Hill staffer has picked up on the same signals that we have about GIG-BE — primarily that the "L" company cannot deliver all the Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing fiber it promised when Science Applications International Corp. tapped that company as a subcontractor.

A DISA spokeswoman said that GIG-BE recently underwent an extensive, independent, initial operational test and evaluation at the first six operational GIG-BE sites. The result: The program was found to meet all of its performance parameters. "We are confident the final test report will address any concerns," she said.

We can hardly wait for the Xbox version

Intercepts East has picked up signals that Joint Forces Command officials will conduct the largest computer simulation of urban warfare in history Oct. 22.

Gamers at three distributed sites will use supercomputers in Ohio and Hawaii that will allow them to control up to 100,000 civilian entities in real time. This sure sounds like a good way to test GIG-BE.

Net-centric warfare check list

David Letterman does not have to worry about competition from the DOD chief information officer's office in the creation of lists.

Here's the list of nine — not 10 — questions the officials want program managers to address to determine whether their programs are net-centric, definitely one of the hot DOD buzzwords of the decade:

  • Are they IP-based?
  • Are they IP Version 6-capable?
  • Can they deliver on security?
  • Can they deliver on data-sharing?
  • Are they data-centric?
  • Do they ensure quality of service?
  • Do they ensure application diversity?
  • Will they provide for secure sharing?
  • Will they provide for ubiquitous connectivity?

To make it 10, we'll add a question of our own: Do you have good Microsoft Corp. PowerPoint slides and a spiffy logo? No slides, no logo, no money.

We hear that, by next January, the assistant secretary of Defense for networks and information integration will come up with a list of 40 programs that show promise of meeting the net-centric mandate.

The geezer ID clause

Not many people have the fortitude to read all 995 pages of a DOD authorization bill. But those who do will find some interesting, if puzzling, gems. For example, here's some great news for retiree dependents: Once you reach the age of 75, you will be issued a permanent ID card that will require no renewal for as many years as you remain on the planet.

What a benefit! It'll probably be a smart card, too.

Stop frocking around

We could not resist this one. The fiscal 2005 Defense Authorization bill limits to 30 lucky souls the number of brigadier generals or rear admirals allowed to wear two stars instead of one. Frocking, for those who don't know, is when a person gets to wear a higher rank than the person's pay grade. How do those people get chosen? Lottery?

Cyber Security Awareness Month Tip #4

We continue to support the Homeland Security Department in its celebration of October as National Cyber Security Awareness Month with some helpful tips, and this week we have decided to move from the topic of passwords to Wi-Fi security.

Don't use your agency name as a Wi-Fi Service Set Identifier. If you do, sniffers, hackers and other nefarious souls will zero in on any access point with an interesting three-letter name.

Try Dan Snyder, in honor of a man who loves all the publicity he can get. He would love every Wi-Fi access point inside the Beltway to broadcast his name, and it's harder to figure out than "Redskins."

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