As DISA turns. The succession story over at Courthouse Road has enough plot twists and character changes for an afternoon soap opera. Last week JIEO honcho Rear Adm. John Gauss received his "upper half" promotion giving him the rank needed for the director's job.

In a nice plot twist Army Maj. Gen. Dave Kelley - another candidate to replace Air Force Lt. Gen. Al Edmonds - read the message from SecNav John Dalton announcing the Gauss promotion at the May 20 morning stand-up. Meanwhile Kelley still remains...

* The anointed. Gauss may have the rank now for the DISA director slot but Kelley has the backing - primarily from outgoing ASD/C3I Emmett Paige Jr. as well as Edmonds - that in turn earned him the endorsement of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The chiefs forwarded the nomination to SecDef William Cohen where the nomination now sits in limbo due to...

* The standoff. Top Navy brass continue to work the E-ring on behalf of Gauss complaining that Paige first endorsed Gauss and then backed off in favor of Kelley. I've picked up off-the-meter signals that the Navy plans to yank Gauss out of DISA quickly if he does not win the director's slot. This should not take long because I've picked up strong signals concerning...

* The Gauss replacement. Folks I'm throwing all my assets at this story including dispatching a mobile unit to Scott Air Force Base Ill. where it picked up signals that Air Force Gen. (select) Gary Salisbury currently director of the Joint Transportation Corporate Information Management Center at the U.S. Transportation Command soon will replace Gauss as JIEO director.

Salisbury already has visited Courthouse Road for an in-briefing as well as a chance to visit the recently renovated JIEO director's quarters (complete with a prominently displayed framed FCW editorial cartoon). If Gauss does not win the DISA prize speculation has already begun that he eventually will take over as the...

* New Spawar boss. Gauss may not immediately land the job running the combined Spawar/NRAD operation in San Diego but insiders say he has a shot of taking over that key organization which is charged with turning the Information Technology for the 21st Century vision into afloat and ashore reality.

Maybe Gauss will also do something about the Spawar no-smoking rules which are more Draconian than those promulgated by a Catholic high school.

* Big IT-21 bucks. The Navy doesn't like to talk about the cost of IT-21 and I've figured out why: My San Diego antenna site has picked up strong signals that it cost $40 million to equip the USS Coronado the 3rd Fleet's flagship with the latest in IT-21 gizmos including a free lifetime supply of floppy disks. Spawar pitched a similar upgrade for the USS Mt. Whitney the flagship of the Atlantic Fleet but I hear CINCLANTFLT Adm. Paul Reason decided to stick with signal flags when he heard the price.


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