Intercepts

* New and improved IT-21. My Crystal City antenna site has picked up strong signals that Rear Adm. John Gauss has now taken over as the CNO N6 lead on the Navy's IT-21 project with the Gauss effort dubbed "IT-21 Plus." Gauss who spearheaded the Global Command and Control System program during his DISA tour will "synthesize" IT-21 in the N6 shop headed by Vice Adm. Walt "Cerebral" Cebrowski.

* Moving fast. Capt. Mark Lenci who helped develop IT-21 during his tour on the 7th Fleet staff and now serves as the Spawar IT-21 afloat and ashore IT-21 project manager said the ships in USS Lincoln CBG and the USS Essex ARG will have their new networks installed by this November making for a very fast six-month turnaround. The Lincoln/Essex groups will sail with a "limited classified" IT-21 network that will provide 100 drops on the large decks and 12 on support ships and smaller ships such as frigates.

* Doing DMS. The Pentagon's Major Automated Information Systems Review Council (MAISRC) approved an incremental rollout of the Defense Message System with Tony Valletta acting ASD/C3I saying the program has an "aggressive schedule" due to the shutdown of the Autodin system in 1999. The Pentagon has now dubbed DMS - whose extremely detailed RFP made the Manhattan phone book look small - an "evolutionary" program whatever that means.

DMS received its MAISRC go-ahead based on the program passing its initial operating tests but because the Interceptor has a list of 70 "deferrals" from requirements I guess evolutionary really translates into a diminution of requirements. I keep asking what all the deferrals mean and everyone keeps insisting they're not relevant anymore. Or they complain I have a "proprietary" document which somehow makes any question I raise about the deferrals moot.

* Man the ramparts. Robert Marsh chairman of the President's Commission on Critical Infrastructure has come up with some "core recommendations" to protect the country's telecommunications transportation and power grid infrastructures that seem to run up against a set of core principles increasingly ignored in today's Washington D.C. - the Bill of Rights. To help protect those infrastructures Marsh believes industry should be given the "tools that the federal government uses to perform background checks and issue security clearances [so that industry will have] a greater ability to inquire into and make use of criminal history information employment histories and credit history information." Oh well it is 13 years after 1984.

* Rebounds. Somehow a gremlin snuck into this space last week and put Camp Smith in New York state. Camp Smith is of course in Hawaii a much more logical and pleasant place for the CINCPAC HQ. I also received numerous e-mails from Ramstein AFB Germany correcting my assertion that they run Lotus Notes over there when in fact they are very happy MS-Exchange users.

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