Intercepts

HOPPING OFF. My Down Under mobile unit has picked up reports that Telstra, the Australian long-haul communications company, has abandoned plans to bid as a prime on the Defense Information Systems Agency's $4 billion Defense Information Systems Network Transmission Services-Pacific contract. I'm personally disappointed, as there are few opportunities in this gig to sell a Sydney trip to The Boss.

Telstra has followed DTS-P for over two years, actively pitching its capabilities in briefings at DISA. But a change in the structure of the contract in the final request for proposals caused the company to bow out, according to Markos Moya, the company's director of network planning. DISA originally planned to contract for a bandwidth-managed service to serve Pacific points but has now "moved in a direction of point-to-point services,'' according to Moya, who said the company cannot add much "value'' under this strategy.

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SOUP'S ON. As predicted here, a Campbell will soon join DISA in a high-ranking post. The only catch is it's an Air Force general and not an Army one. My Courthouse Road antenna site has picked up strong signals that Air Force Maj. Gen. John Campbell, who currently holds down the information operations slot at the Joint Staff, will soon join DISA as vice director, replacing Brig. Gen. John Meincke, now the U.S. Central Command J6.

In other DISA HQ news, I've picked up reports that indicate deputy director Air Force Brig. Gen. Gary Salisbury needs some trip-planning help: He's off this month for a trip to South Korea. What next, maybe a trip to Bosnia in January?

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COLD SEAT. Seat management may sound like a good idea in some quarters (including the pages of this newspaper), but not over at the Army. One of my remote antenna sites reported that Dave Borland, Army vice director of gadgets and gizmos, declared seat management all but dead at a meeting of the AFCEA Bethesda chapter last month.

Borland said that in his view he did not "see any financial justification [to use a seat management contract] for the Department of the Army under any circumstances.''

If this kind of thinking spreads, I know of program management staffs at both the General Services Administration and NASA that will have a lot of time on their hands.

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LOG MOD PILE-ON. Capitol Hill keeps putting pressure on the Army Materiel Command to drop its $1 billion Logistics Systems Modernization project, which calls for outsourcing a little more than 500 software engineering jobs. A grand total of 16 senators and congressmen wrote a letter to Army Secretary Louis Caldera urging a postponement in any "re-engineering'' of AMC.

Despite this firepower— which, by the way, works out statistically to about one member each fighting to preserve 31 Log-Mod jobs— the Army has no current plans to desist. A spokesman at Army HQ in the Pentagon said, "All current program initiatives [for AMC] will be carried forward.'' Starting Nov. 16, the Army and AMC will hold a three-day conference on the future of logistics at Washington, D.C.'s Woodley Park Marriott, which will probably be overrun with congressional staffers.

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TOUGH DUTY. The Interceptor and FCW Editor Joanne Connelly will be in Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii, this week covering the AFCEA Hawaii conference. Check out our reporting on the FCW World Wide Web site at www.fcw.com. We definitely do not plan to continue traveling west to join Salisbury in South Korea.

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