Intercepts

Dumping DISA?

My sniffer satellite has picked up a number of signals that Lt. Gen. David Kelley and his crew on Courthouse Road face defections by unhappy customers on both the telecom and data processing sides of DISA's house.

I have picked up medium-strength signals that one of the uniformed services has grown so unhappy with DISA's long-haul pricing and service that it plans to start its own set of global networks, believing it can better manage its own networks.

I've also heard that yet another service plans to yank its data processing business from the DISA megacenters, again reflecting pricing and performance issues.

Neither of these moves is set in stone, and they could face considerable opposition within OSD, but if they do happen, this could lead to even more customers jumping ship.

There's not much the DISA management team can do about this right now, so I recommend mass urtication over at Courthouse Road, a painful process that often brings about good results.

***

Westward ho

My Courthouse Road mobile unit— its tape recorders stuffed with info during my month-long vacation in France (referred to by my colleagues as a "sabbatical'')— picked up reports that Frank Perry, the agency's techno-wizard, has finally accepted a long-pending job offer from DIA veteran Rear Adm. John Gauss, now head of Spawar. My sources say Perry will serve in a high-level technical job at Spawar, helping Gauss and the Navy make IT-21 a reality.

***

The discovery of IT-21

FCW readers know all about IT-21, but now the general public will have a chance to see this technology in action through a Web site hosted by cable TV's Discovery Channel. The Web site, dubbed "Smoke in the Water" (www.discovery.com/stories/technology/rimpac/weapons.html), offers coverage of the ongoing multinational exercise in the Pacific called RIMPAC '98.

U.S. Navy Pacific Command ships participating in RIMPAC include the USS Coronado, which is the 3rd Fleet's command ship, and— quite fittingly for a digit-driven exercise— the USS Grace Hopper, which is an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer named after the Navy computing pioneer.

***

Changing the DARPA guard

Bill Mularie, a former NIMA deputy director, takes over this week as director of information systems at DARPA, replacing Marv Langston, who has moved on to the corridors of power in the ASD/C3I office in the Pentagon. If Mularie follows the precedent set by Langston, he'll only spend about three months in the job— not even worth the business card change expense.

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