Intercepts

Eminently Emmett. Paige Jr. of course whose prepared remarks for his retirement ceremony as ASD/C3I last month carried the same pungency as his utterances throughout his tour of duty. DOD still relies too much on "sneakernet" to exchange data Paige said while most "systems or applications are no more than an automation of old manual processes we used before the advent of computers.... We have continued to modernize the mainframes that they run on so we have first-generation efficient software just being processed faster on fourth-generation hardware."

* And a bouquet. The Global Command and Control System Paige said stands as "the only hope [of] getting interoperable systems in the hands of our warfighters." He credited DISA with fielding GCCS in less than three years.

* The Ada retreat. Paige devoted much time and effort backing Ada as the standard programming language of DOD throughout his tour. But in a message sent to all the services in late April Paige backed down. Paige said DOD would revise its directive mandating the use of Ada "in favor of an engineering approach to the selection of the language to be used.... Ada waiver requests are no longer required when another language is selected."

* More DISA departures. The middle-manager munchkins who helped steer DISA to its success with GCCS and DISN during the past three years will follow their bosses - retired Lt. Gen. Al Edmonds and Rear Adm. John Gauss who is awaiting a Navy assignment - out the fast-spinning DISA door according to my Courthouse Road fixed-antenna site. Look for Army Col. Marlin Forbes who spearheaded the DISN program from concept to reality to retire in July from his job as special assistant to the director. Air Force Col. Ellis Conoley former GCCS program manager and now commander of the DISA Operations Support Facility won't be far behind Forbes. This presents a real career opportunity for 0-6s who have missed the chance for weekly Hill grillings - not to mention badgering by reporters.

* International DCTN? That 12-year-old AT&T contract now known as DISN-Transition just keeps humming along. DISA used the contract to acquire a satellite T-1 circuit to Rota Spain - a service formerly provided by Esotel an inside-the-Beltway 8(a). DISA's Forbes said international circuits fall under the scope of DISN-Transition - a view that some of AT&T's competitors see as a drastic expansion of the contract. I'm picking up low-level signals of a protest on this one.

* Hawaii-bound. My Fort Shafter remote unit reports that Col. Jan Hicks will take command of the Army's 516th Signal Brigade. Hicks who previously served as chief of the Signal Branch in the Army's Personnel Command will relieve Col. Archie Franks who will take over as director of engineering for combat support systems in the Army's Test and Experimentation Command Fort Hood Texas.

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