Intercepts

* Deca's DISN dismay. The Defense Commissary Agency asked DISA more than a year ago for a waiver from requirements to use DISN and delays in the rollout of the domestic long-haul network have only solidified the agency's desire to jump from the DISN ship according to signals picked up at my Fort Lee Va. antenna site. It should seem a simple matter for Deca headed by retired Army Maj. Gen. Richard Beale Jr. to obtain this waiver because the worldwide military grocery is the first DOD Performance-Based Organization (PBO) under Vice President Al Gore's National Performance Review.

Deca I'm told has spent a frustrating year trying to obtain a DISN waiver and/or have DISA provide it with the networks it needs to support the systems it uses to run a $5.5 billion worldwide enterprise designed to act much like a private company under the PBO project. It's a good thing Deca doesn't have to go through DISA to buy Doritos.

* Army angst? My E-ring antenna site has picked up medium-strength signals that the Army has as one source said "a number of issues we need to resolve with DISA." The Army DISC4 office led by the newly appointed Lt. Gen. William Campbell is in negotiations with Courthouse Road over control of the Army ARCnet which DISA would like to move to the delayed AT&T DTS-C network. The Army would like to keep it as a stand-alone net. If nothing else this tussle proves that DISA director Lt. Gen. David Kelley may wear Army green but has learned to think purple.

* Still savoring SCAMPI. I am also picking up low-level signals from my hooah remote unit at Special Operations Command HQ in Florida that the snake-eaters have no desire to surrender their SCAMPI network run by MCI to DISA. Snake after all tastes better with garlic.

* NRC and IT-21. The National Research Council last week published a study on "Technology for the United States Navy and Marine Corps 2000-2035" that sounds like a ringing endorsement for the concept behind the IT-21 project spearheaded by Adm. Archie Clemins CINCPACFLT. According to the study Navy and Marine "information-in-warfare systems must be considered and treated as one of the major combat systems" along with ships aircraft and weapons. The report also endorsed a central IT-21 tenet: For acquisition of computer and communications gear "the most expeditious and economical approach will be to acquire commercial off-the-shelf equipment and subsystems for all but specialized applications."

* SSG stars. Next week's Air Force Info Tech Conference (Sept. 8-12) should be a hot one. The temperature in Montgomery Ala. hit 116 degrees late last month but my SSG pals expect that a cold front should drop things down to about 105 degrees. Speakers include Air Force comm and IT boss Lt. Gen. William Donahue ESC honcho Lt. Gen. Ronald Kadish and Microsoft pooh-bah Steve Ballmer. I'll be filing daily news and a daily column. Check us out at www.fcw.com.

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