INTERCEPTS

* C3I pinch-hitter. Jacques Gansler the new deputy secretary of Defense has tapped former ASD/C3I Duane Andrews now laboring in the rarefied heights of SAIC to help him come up with a new game plan for the office Andrews once headed. No hard intell on what Andrews will suggest but my Tysons Corner Va. antenna site has picked up strong signals that Andrews believes info war is too fluid to reside with NSA which still has not figured out that a military operation in the '90s can begin and end in a matter of days.

* On the beach? My E-ring antenna site has picked up strong signals that a number of very familiar names in DOD IT circles will choose to retire after Andrews delivers his report but before the DOD buyout expires in March.

* CIO mania. Now that Gansler has grabbed the DOD reins I continue to pick up intell that candidates passed over for that job hope for a home in the Navy. John Douglass ASN for R&D now wears the acting CIO mantle with DOD CIO wannabees Bruce McConnell of OMB and former jet jockey Owen Wormser on the short list for the deputy ASN job which is expected to include the CIO functions if not the title.

McConnell according to signals from my Lafayette Park antenna site says he's flattered but he plans to stay where he is. This leaves Wormser to fight it out with Ron Elliott of the Intelligence Systems Secretariat.

* The Edmonds paradox. When Air Force Lt. Gen. Al Edmonds ran DISA he defended the agency's megacenters with a ferocity reminiscent of a besieged infantryman with EDS in the lead of the opposing outsourcing forces. Now that Edmonds has taken over as honcho of the EDS military group folks wonder if he will change positions.

* Real money. Adm. Archie Clemins CINCPACFLT and the prime advocate for the Navy's IT-21 program has for the past year declined to discuss the total cost of upgrading fleet and shore stations with a high-capacity ATM-driven Naval Virtual Intranet.

But last week at AFCEA West '98 in San Diego Clemins pegged the cost of IT-21 in fiscal 1998 and 1999 at $1 billion. My San Diego mobile unit picked up readings that the total cost will hit $1.7 billion— definitely real money.

* Full auto. Retired Marine Gen. John Sheehan former ACOM CINC used his keynote speech at AFCEA to poke fun at hide-bound DOD organizations practices and policies. Commenting on information security Sheehan remarked that information-assurance personnel would know how to handle his briefing: "They'd classify it and lock us all up.'' Sheehan would have made a great machine gunner.

* Force XXI sing-along. The Army let me know that CW2 Fred Catchings bandmaster at Fort Hood Texas has written the official song for the experimental Force XXI. It sounds as though the PACFLT band needs to play some serious catch-up and come out with an IT-21 song. It could include a heart-rending chorus made up of all the vendors who did not make the IT-21 approved-products list.

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