INTERCEPTS

Reform pork. The bulk of the Defense Reform Act of 1997 (see story Page 12) deals with all kinds of reforms but a clause tacked on to the end shows stopping techno-pork is not one of them. This section of the bill directs the Pentagon to install a fiber-optic metropolitan-area network (MAN) in at least one area of the country containing multiple military bases. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) a member of the House National Security Committee from San Diego inserted this section so no one at the Pentagon should have a hard time figuring out which area of the country desperately needs a fiber MAN.

Potential recipients of this largess include Teleport Communications Group Worldcomm/MFS MCI Metro and Time Warner all of which have significant local infrastructure in San Diego. Ed Staunton MFS' federal honcho called San Diego "one of the most competitive local markets in the country."

* Back from the brink. That's the best way to describe the feeling of the gang over at the Army DISC4 operation who earlier this month faced the possibility that their organization would all but disappear. Sara Lister assistant secretary of the Army for manpower wanted to transfer them to the Army research development and acquisition office according to signals picked up by my E-ring antenna site.

Top Army officials decided to retain DISC4 as a separate entity because among other things it serves as home to the Army CIO office. DISC4 will also retain its three-star status with the nomination of Maj. Gen. William Campbell for promotion to lieutenant general and assignment as the new DISC4. Campbell currently the Army's C3 PEO at Fort Monmouth will replace Lt. Gen. Otto Guenther who retired on June 20. The Interceptor has heard that Guenther will soon don veep stripes in the Washington-area office of Computer Associates.

* Force XXI conundrum. Language inserted into the Defense authorization bill by Sen. John Warner (R-Va.) ordering the Army to conduct live jamming and hacker attacks against the much-vau nted digitized force this November has put Army widget brass in a tough position according to signals picked up by my Fort Monmouth antenna site. One knowledgeable source commented "There's no way the Army can do that.... Any serious jamming will knock them out in a matter of hours." Another Army official dismissed the test ordered by Warner as no problem. "Since we're running the November test as a simulation we'll just simulate the jamming."

* NCs for IT-21. That's a wish from Marv Langston the Navy CIO who said the service would love to acquire gizmos that cut down on the day-to-day costs of care and feeding associated with PCs. Langston well aware of the industrywide grumbling over the Microsoft-centric nature of the interim IT-21 standards set by CINCPACFLT Adm. Archie Clemins promises to release draft final standards by Oct. 1.

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