DISA chief says GCCS to shift to Windows NT

The Defense Information Systems Agency plans to "fundamentally shift" clients for the Global Command and Control System (GCCS) from the Unix operating system to Microsoft Corp. Windows NT running on PCs in order to reduce costs, according to DISA director Lt. Gen. David Kelley.

Kelley, speaking today for the first time at the Washington Chapter of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association, said the new version of GCCS—- used by field commanders to control their forces and assess intelligence on one screen—- will also include new application software, including new software to handle distribution of air tasking orders (ATOs), which are vital to the prosecution of the complex air campaigns.

Kelley reinforced the agency's commitment to inserting Asynchronous Transfer Mode into the common Defense Department backbone network known as the Defense Information Systems Network. MCI Government Markets, which holds the DISN bandwidth manager contract, will run a competition among ATM hardware suppliers this June, he said.

Resolving DISA's Year 2000 computer software problems has emerged as the agency's "most serious challenge," Kelley said. "Our mission-critical systems have the first priority," for Year 2000 fixes, said Kelley, who sharply disagreed with congressional charges that DOD and DISA will miss the Year 2000 deadline.

Last week, Rep. Stephen Horn (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Subcommittee on Government Management, Information and Technology, said if DOD continues at the current rate of fixing its computers for Year 2000, "DOD will only complete 36 percent of its mission-critical systems on time." As a result, Horn, in his quarterly report card, gave DOD an F.

Kelley said, "I don't know how the congressman is doing his grading, [but] the grading is unfair."

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