Intercepts

- IT-21 sticker shock. The estimated cost of upgrading a Navy Carrier Battle Group and Amphibious Ready Group has jumped from roughly $50 million to between $80 million and $100 million— and that covers only the major ships, according to Monica Shepherd, Atlantic Fleet N6. Shepherd said the Navy faces "tough" decisions on how to allocate its IT funding and resources as "all the easy decisions are gone.''

My Pentagon antenna site also has picked up strong signals that Rear Adm. John Gauss, commander of the Navy's Space and Naval Warfare Command, may not end up with all the Navy IT funding. There's a good chance that the money will still be controlled by the bases and other systems commands.

- Cable shock. The Navy found out that "the low price is not the best price" when it comes to buying networking cable for shipboard installation, according to Nikki Isfahani, director of the Navy's IT Umbrella Program. Isfahani, speaking in Norfolk, Va., at the Connecting Technology conference sponsored by her organization, said the service bought some "Brand X'' network cable with the low-ball price of $1 per foot off the EDS PC LAN+ contract. Compared with commercial prices of more than $20 per foot, this seemed like a good deal until the Navy found out that some of the cable tended to "kink," Isfahani said. The IT Umbrella Program has reached a settlement with EDS and will not install any more of the Brand X cable afloat, she said.

- The new ASD/C3I. The Pentagon has signed off on the blueprint for reorganization of the Office of the

Assistant Secretary of Defense for command, control and communications, officially confirming that Marv Langston has accepted the key deputy chief information officer job under Art Money, who is slated to take over as ASD/C3I. Linton Wells II, presently deputy undersecretary of Defense for policy support, has been named acting principal deputy ASD/C3I; Cheryl Roby, acting deputy ASD for intelligence; Christopher Mellon, acting deputy ASD for security and information operations; and Air Force Maj. Gen. Kenneth Israel, acting deputy ASD for C3I surveillance and reconnaissance and space systems.

- Y2K SWAT teams. The Marine Corps "has no reasonable expectations'' that it will have fixed all Year 2000 date code problems in all its computer systems by Jan. 1, 2000, according to Col. Kevin McHale, the Year 2000 honcho at Marine Corps headquarters. McHale said the Marines plan to have Year 2000 SWAT teams standing by at major installations on Jan. 1, 2000. The Marines plan to dispatch these teams rather than provide phone support as the service also has concerns about the effect of Year 2000 problems on the phone network.

- Almost Y2K-ready. The Navy Year 2000

Project Office thought it had discovered one Navy ship with no Year 2000 problems— the four-masted sailing ship USS Constitution. But, according to Cmdr. Jim Gillcrist, the Navy discovered that "Old Ironsides'' sports a Global Positioning System receiver, "which has its own date problems."

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