DOD taps DISA's Curtis as Y2K czar

The Defense Department has set up a high-level Year 2000 oversight office and named William Curtis, formerly deputy director for procurement and logistics at the Defense Information Systems Agency, to head it.

Last week Curtis said fixing DOD's Year 2000 problem is "the first real war of the Information Age...and they need an infantryman to run it." With a total of 33 years of federal service under his belt, including a tour in Vietnam as an Army Airborne Ranger, Curtis said he "wanted this job; it's the opportunity I have been looking for, for 33 years.''

Curtis, who has not yet moved from his office at DISA headquarters in Arlington, Va., said he has already taken on his new responsibilities and expects Pentagon quarters "right down the hall from Art Money,'' who is slated to take over as the assistant secretary of Defense for command, control, communications and intelligence. Curtis added he was too new in the job to provide any specifics of his mandate or his proposed solutions for fixing the date code in DOD information systems before the clock strikes midnight on Jan. 1, 2000.

In a related development, the Navy has selected Rear Adm. Steve Johnson, commander of the Naval Information Systems Management Center, as its Year 2000 program manager, according to Ann Miller, the Navy's new chief information officer. Miller said Johnson will be responsible for "end-to-end Y2K assessment'' in the Navy.

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