- By Bob Brewin
- May 23, 1999
LOGISTICS CZAR? The House version of the 2000-2001 Defense authorization bill calls for the establishment of a director of defense logistics, empowered with broad Title 10 oversight. (That's the portion of the U.S. Code that defines the roles and missions of the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the four military services.) The authorization bill, which is far from passage, would put the new logistics czar position within the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology, currently Jacques Gansler, and provides a legislative mandate to "prescribe" logistics policies and procedures.The bill also backs up the new logistics director with language that allows him to "provide guidance" to the services - strong language that a knowledgeable vendor called a policy "hammer."
Roger Kallock, who serves as undersecretary of Defense (logistics) in Gansler's office, may well be the initial beneficiary of these new powers, if this language survives the authorization bill's tortuous passage through committee, the House and the Senate.
If not, there probably will be a lot of log czar wanna-bes lined up outside Gansler's office because the bill also mandates that whoever gets the job be appointed as an SES 4, which, besides the pay, probably includes great perks such as a window that does not overlook a Pentagon air shaft.
PORTABLE-3 HOLIDAY. The Army CAC-W office plans to award its heavily contested, $90 million Portable-3 contract May 27, according to an e-mail sent to all the bidders by Mary O'Hara, the contracting officer. This means two outfits vying for the award will have a great start to the Memorial Day weekend, while the others probably will go into such a funk that they might relish getting stuck in traffic. Vendors vying for the dual-award Portable-3 contract include Comark Federal Systems, GTSI, Inacom Government Systems Intelligent Decisions, ITC (formerly known as IntelliSys Technology Corp.) and Telstar.
SIPRNET DIS-CONNECT? The Army and DISA still have not resolved all the issues that will provide for blanket approval for interconnecting the Tactical Packet Network - the Army's main battlefield data network - with the worldwide Secret Internet Protocol Router Network, according to signals I have picked up from the field. Lt. Gen. William Campbell, the Army DISC4, issued interim approval for TPN/SIPRNET interconnection in February, but that approval runs out next month. If U.S. ground forces do move into Kosovo, the Army's TPN will serve as a vital data backbone, which I'm told means the Army and DISA need to get their interconnection act together.
BUT WHAT DOES THE PATCH LOOK LIKE? Anyone who has worked inside the Beltway - especially at the Pentagon - knows that over the past five years or so a new breed of techno-warrior has emerged: the PowerPoint Ranger. PP Rangers now have their own creed, furnished anonymously and exclusively to the Interceptor by a Pentagon "power briefer." I would love to receive suggestions and/or drawings of what the PP Ranger patch should look like. Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is my PowerPoint. There are many like it, but mine is 97. My PowerPoint is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I master my life. My PowerPoint without me is useless. Without my PowerPoint, I am useless. I must format my slides true. I must brief them better than the other staff sections who are trying to out-brief me. I must brief the impact on the CINC before he asks me. I will. My PowerPoint and myself know that what counts in this war is not the information. We know that it is the number of slides, the colors of the highlights and the format of the bullets that counts. My PowerPoint is human, even as I, because it is my life. Thus I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weaknesses, its strengths, its fonts, its accessories, its formats and its colors. I will keep my PowerPoint slides current and ready to brief. We will become part of each other. We will. Before God I swear this creed. My PowerPoint and myself are defenders of my country. We are the masters of our subject. We are the saviors of my career. So be it, until victory is America's and there is no enemy, but peace (and the next exercise)!