DOD Taps Current Pacts

The thirst for commercial off-the-shelf hardware and software meant the Army and vendors had to scramble to fill rush orders, with the Army Information Systems Command's Army Small Computer Program office at Fort Monmouth, N.J., serving as the focal point for Bosnian orders.

The office manages several contracting vehicles, including Small Multiuser Computer II, Portable-1 and PC-1.

The Defense Department has also used practically every available avenue to provide Operation Joint Endeavor forces with advanced information technology equipment, including General Services Administration schedule contracts and small businesses.

Many vendors saw Bosnia-related sales spike in late November and early December. But business has remained steady over the last couple months as DOD established its presence in the Balkans.

Through mid-March, the Army's Small Computer Program office had processed about $2.3 million in orders. The purchasing covered PCs, laptops, laser printers and file servers ordered off eight contracts. Notebook computers stood out as the most popular product for troops going to Bosnia, said Anthony Battista, fielding team leader at the Small Computer Program office.

"That seems to be the item of choice because of its mobility," Battista said. Also, between the high-speed processors and the large hard disks that are available with notebooks, "you virtually have desktop power now," he said.

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