URBAN ENVY? The Air Force has decided to imitate the Marine Corps' highly touted Urban Warrior exercise, which was held this month, with its own urban warfare exercise next year, to be called the Expeditionary Force Experiment. The Marines and their commandant, Gen. Charles Krulak, garnered a lot of ink on Urban Warrior and its slew of IT gadgets and gizmos, and one only wonders if the zoomies have decided to pile on as a result of all that publicity. There definitely is a correlation between visibility and funding in the slimmed-down Pentagon. I suggest the Air Force choose a venue other than California, which the Marines found quite inhospitable because of public opposition to Urban Warrior. New Jersey seems like a good idea. Who would notice?

COMMO STAR. The Marines have selected yet another career communicator, Col. John Thomas, for promotion to brigadier general. Thomas, G6 at Fleet Marine Force-Pacific, is only the second 2502 since the days of Smedley Butler (or least it seems so) to pin on a star. Honolulu seems a good place for a Marine communicator to earn a star. The current Marine C4I director, Brig. Gen. Robert Shea, earned his star while serving a tour as J6 at CINCPAC. This has caused a bit of envy in the Interceptor - a former 2531 - who now wonders whether he should have stayed in.

VISIONARY UPDATE. A while back, at the urging of the "once a Marine'' support group over at Logicon, I gave a belated nod to two "Marine C4I visionaries," Dave Chadwick and Steve D'Lugos. I'm happy to report that both are now quite gainfully employed. Chadwick has joined a fire team led by former Sprint-oid Chris Rooney at Signal Global, a Boston-based voice-over-IP venture set to roll out an initial public offering any time now. D'Lugos heads a Sprint Government Markets squad, providing service to the Navy and the Marines. If you think this is too much Marine news for one column, just wait until The Birthday.

TOP TELECOM JOB. I have picked up strong signals that a well-heeled long-distance carrier - but not one of the big three - has an immediate opening for a high-level government markets honcho. The company, which stunned the market last year with a very big win, already has started scouting key prospects at - where else? - the big three. Please do not send resumes here. Part of the test of landing the job is finding it.

SAIC TO BUY BOEING? I have picked up yet another report about the imminent sale of Boeing Information Services Inc., with Science Applications International Corp. supposedly the buyer. Remember, this is a gossip column, and this report is a rumor.

ON THE ROAD. I have packed up my mobile unit to spend the entire week in Guam covering Operation Tandem Thrust. The Navy has built in enough time for me to visit the world's busiest K-Mart. This job sure has a lot of perks.


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