Army looking to upgrade, secure base comms

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Defense Department's reliance on the non-secure version of its intranet to carry out and support military operations comes "close to madness," and changes must be made in order to upgrade and better secure the department's network infrastructure, a senior Army official said today.

Speaking at the GovTechNet convention here, Lt. Gen. William Campbell, the Army's director of command, control, communications, computers and intelligence, said security concerns and DOD's reliance on the Non-Classified Internet Protocol Router Network are a major focus for the Army as it begins to look at ways to digitize its tactical forces and upgrade its base communications infrastructure.

Campbell said the Army is moving forward with an initiative he called "re-engineering the institutional Army," which focuses on upgrading the communications and information infrastructure of Army bases around the world as a means to better support deployed units.

In fact, the digitization of base installations must happen for the Army to translate advances in information technologies into military "power projection," Campbell said. "However it is done, we need to have the connectivity from the posts, camps and stations...out to our forces in the field," Campbell said. The Army has begun to lay a high-bandwidth, fiber-optic backbone at Fort Bliss, Texas, he said.

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