Intercepts

A REAL ASD/C3I AT LAST? The White House, freed of the pesky distractions of the past year (Monica, impeachment, etc.), has finally nominated Art Money, the longest-term senior civilian official in history, as assistant secretary of Defense for command, control, communications and intelligence. If everything goes well on the Hill, Money should get the official nod by year's end, leaving him with a tour of just one year as a real ASD/C3I. This whole process gives new meaning to the word glacial.

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OUT OF THE E-RING. The Interceptor has picked up strong signals that DepSecDef John Hamre has set in motion a project that will strip top Pentagon civilian and uniformed commanders of one of their best perks: commodious, wood-paneled offices on the Pentagon's outer E-ring, many with stunning views of the federal city. While those offices do provide great views, Hamre also believes they are vulnerable to terrorist attacks. Hamre intends to fix this problem by capitalizing on the decade-long Pentagon Renovation Program. He decreed that all E-ringers will move to offices in the inner A-ring as each wedge of the rehab of the Pentagon is completed. But the laws of geometry dictate that not all E-ringers will be able to fit in the A-ring and thus will be consigned to the dreaded B-C-D rings, which have marvelous views of air shafts.

This will not sit well with the bureaucracy, and I can just see some deputy assistants bunkering themselves into the E-ring over the next few years.

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PC-3 GRUMBLINGS. Streamlined acquisition rules and the unlamented disappearance of GSA's Board of Contract Appeals mean losing bidders on DOD PC contracts have few avenues of appeal, except an almost sure loss at GAO. But they still can grumble, which is what Mark O'Donnell, senior pooh-bah at Vanstar, did in a recent letter to the Army Small Computer Program office. In the letter, he outlined his problems with the award of the PC-3 contract to GTSI and Intelligent Decisions.

O'Donnell was amazed to learn that, according to the Army, the Vanstar machine received a lower benchmark score than a competitor's PC, even though the Vanstar PC had a higher clock speed.

O'Donnell also told the Interceptor that he believed the rugged laptop bid by Intelligent Decisions did not meet made-in-America requirements. Vanstar sent the letter in lieu of a protest because "we could not win a protest'' in the current environment, O'Donnell said. He added, "It's also therapeutic.... It made me feel better."

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JTF-CND GRAND OPENING. Here at Intercept Central, we received an invitation to the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Joint Task Force-Computer Network Defense from DISA's director, Army Lt. Gen. David Kelley, and JTF's commander, Air Force Maj. Gen. John Campbell. The ceremony will be held June 23 at DISA headquarters on Courthouse Road. I hope they have a lot of those plastic flags that gas stations use to decorate for grand openings.

I also have picked up strong hints that Space Command intends to leave JTF-CND pretty much alone when Space Command takes over the cyberdefense mission this fall, leaving the task force and its personnel intact on Courthouse Road rather than moving them to Colorado Springs. Space Command will provide the task force with some needed "CINC-clout."

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