AKO interpretation

CherryRoad Technologies has filed a protest against the Army's award of a $152.1 million Army Knowledge Online (AKO) Enterprise Services contract. An industry team led by Lockheed Martin won the contract earlier this month. We hear the protest is based on "a matter of interpretation."

We talked with past officials at CherryRoad and the Army, and they seemed comfortable with that description. We may never know the reason for the protest because the company filed it under a protective order, which means the Army cannot divulge details.

Both sides think they have a strong case.

"We believe the protest is without merit and that the government will prevail," said Army Col. Tom Hogan, deputy program executive officer for enterprise information systems.

"We're confident of our position," said Debbie Yobs, a CherryRoad spokeswoman.

The Government Accountability Office will decide the matter by Oct. 28. We're told GAO doesn't usually uphold protests based on matters of interpretation.

ITES-2S fuss

AKO Enterprise Services is not the only Army procurement to run into contracting difficulties lately.

The Information Technology Enterprise Solutions-2 Services contract hit a few bumps when some companies complained about not being chosen to be among the final competitors.

Kevin Carroll, the Army's program executive officer for enterprise information systems, confirmed the complaints at a conference last month.

We're told six companies caused a fuss about not being included in the chosen 17. We got in touch with four of them, but their spokespeople declined comment.

We're in a good mood this week so we won't mention any names. We don't want them blackballed from joining a team to get a piece of the action, which has a potential value of $20 billion.

The China IT syndrome

The Interceptors were salivating when Defense Department officials released their annual report to Congress last week on China's military capabilities.

We were eager find out whether officials would discuss China's computer network operations. We were not disappointed.

Pentagon officials said China is working on advanced command, control, intelligence and reconnaissance systems. They also said the country possesses computer network attack, defense and exploitation abilities.

The officials said they have no evidence that China has a formal computer network operations doctrine, but industry experts describe the country's approach as integrated network electronic warfare.

"This concept outlines the integrated use of electronic warfare, computer network operations and limited kinetic strikes against key [command, control, communications and computers] nodes to disrupt the enemy's battlefield network information systems," according to the DOD report.

One military source told us not to view China's computer network attack capability as the bogeyman. He reminded us of what happened to the former Soviet Union.

Meyerrose on the move

Air Force Maj. Gen. Dale Meyerrose, who won a Federal 100 award this year, was in town last week to speak to the Industry Advisory Council.

His current title is director of architectures and integration at U.S. Northern Command (Northcom) and director of command and control systems at North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). But that may soon change.

Navy Rear Adm. Nancy Brown was nominated for Meyerrose's position this spring. She is currently vice director for command, control, communications and computer systems for the military's Joint Staff.

So we asked Northcom what's going on.

"We look forward to working with Rear Adm. Nancy Brown," said Navy Lt. Cmdr. Sean Kelly, a Northcom spokesman, in a statement. "She has an outstanding record, and we anticipate that she'll continue the legacy of excellence."

The Air Force made no official announcement regarding Meyerrose's plans. "Maj. Gen. Meyerrose has brilliantly served NORAD and Northcom and will continue to do so in support of the NORAD and Northcom mission," Kelly said.

That's the official word. So, in the spirit of Paul Harvey, what's the rest of the story?

Changing the charter

The Defense Department is changing the charter of its CIO Board to include U.S. Strategic Command, the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence, a trusted source in DOD's Office of the Chief Information Officer told us.

We find it comforting to know that DOD is finally putting Stratcom on the board. The command has overseen the operation of military IT systems for years now. n

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