Intercepts

CLEMINS EXTENDED? I picked up a lot of scuttlebutt during a Western Pacific swing earlier this month that Adm. Archie Clemins, commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet and the chief proponent of the Navy's IT-21 strategy, could have his tour extended well beyond the three-year mark, which would be in November. Some rumors in the fleet have him staying until all potential major Year 2000 problems have been resolved, which means he would stay until at least February or March 2000. Other rumors have Clemins doing another full year until November 2000.

Clemins, interviewed last week at CINCPACFLT headquarters in Hawaii, declined to comment on how much time he had left, except to say, "Some people thought I would have been gone last November.''

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THE FORE SCORE. Last year Fore Systems Inc. won a really big National Security Agency networking contract with some really low Circuit City pricing, and PACFLT quickly pounced on the contract as a way to save money. Capt. Tim Traverso, the PACFLT IT-21 guru, said creative use of that contract "made our money go a lot further.'' That's an understatement because an NSA price sheet that came my way showed items with a list price in the tens of thousands of dollars selling at discounts of 90 percent or better.

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SIPRNET-TRASH. Shortly after the "Melissa" virus hit last month, the IT staff on the USS Kitty Hawk, operating off the coast of Guam, worried that the malignancy had spread to the Secret Internet Protocol Router Network. The reason: The Kitty Hawk has a whopping 16G of network storage on SIPRNET, and shortly after Melissa hit, much of that space was rapidly filled up—one sign of an infestation.

This forced the Kitty Hawk IT crew to shut down SIPRNET overnight to perform a thorough scrub of the system, which has more than 400 drops. The next morning, the Kitty Hawk reported that its dwindling storage capacity resulted from bad mail management, not a virus. Cmdr. "Dobie'' Gillis, the N6 for the Kitty Hawk carrier battle group, said the system crashed "not [due] to a virus at all.... People left too much mail on the server. Biggest offender had 1.3G of trash.''

Gillis did not reveal the identity of this individual, but the Interceptor heard during lunch in the Kitty Hawk's chief petty officer mess that the "offender'' was a lieutenant junior grade who woke up to find that he had lost his squirreled-away files and his SIPRNET account.

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WAR HOLIDAY? Over the past few weeks, it seemed like much of the European Command and its component commands would have assumed some sort of quick-reaction war footing, considering all the action in Yugoslavia. But when I tried to contact some key personnel at an Army unit in Germany—whose identity I will not disclose—on the Monday after Easter, hardly anyone was in. I was told by the duty section, "We're on a four-day training holiday" to coincide with the German four-day Easter weekend. I'm going to use this information to negotiate for more four-day reporting and writing holidays here at FCW.

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