Following a different trail. The Interceptor - worn out from nearly a month of travel in the Western Pacific - took some much-needed R&R last week in Wild Wonderful West Virginia. From his secluded location the Interceptor was likely to pick up nothing but a stray country song given his preference for Beethoven he left his antenna behind.

* Turning the Paige. People in both the Defense Department and industry are wondering about the impact of the May 23 departure of Emmett Paige Jr. former ASD/C3I. Paige now nestled away at OAO Corp. was well-known for combining the powers of his office as C3I policy-making honcho with the force of his personality.

In fact some people believe that DOD clung for so long to its Ada mandate because Paige took the issue to heart stumping for it constantly in language that reflected his background in Defense and boxing. In recent months he applied himself with equal tenacity to the issue of outsourcing - a battle unlike Ada that may actually be won.

On the other hand as one DOD official noted wryly the next ASD/C3I - should such a position be given a new lease - would do well not to rely so heavily on handing out mandates via e-mail.

* Adieu Ada? Judging from comments by DOD officials at the recent Software Technology Conference in Salt Lake City - which Paige did not address this year—DOD at long last may be prepared to give its standing Ada policy the heave-ho.

For several years now DOD has insisted - despite grumblings and catcalls—that all new Defense software projects be written in Ada unless developers can show good cause why it should be otherwise.

However without coming right out and saying it Pentagon brass at Salt Lake City hinted that the newest policy expected later this year would relegate Ada to a few dark corners of the department including weapons systems software. That in fact was the recommendation of a panel formed by the National Research Council to review the Ada policy last year. For a sympathetic ear please direct your complaints to OAO.

* The revolution continues. Navy contracting must be a fun place to work these days. In the latest turn of events - albeit a minor one - the Navy recently awarded BTG Inc. a blanket purchase agreement under its New Technology for Office and Portable Systems (NTOPS) program.

The Navy you might remember originally awarded indefinite-delivery indefinite-quantity contracts under NTOPS to BTG and Cordant Inc. early last year - one of the last IDIQ programs before the Navy started down the BPA path. Apparently the folks at the Naval Information Systems Management Center decided to grant NTOPS new life by giving BTG the flexibility high-profile and other charms associated with BPAs. According to BTG the company has been doing brisk business through the BPA in the early going.

Cordant meanwhile has submitted its own proposal but has not yet been given the all-clear.


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