- By Bob Brewin
- Jun 27, 1999
QUICKLY ENABLED. The 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit managed to move its satellite-based Joint Task Force Enabler system, which provides NIPRNET, SIPRNET and Joint Worldwide Communications System access for deployed forces, into Kosovo from Macedonia almost as quickly as the grunts themselves. The 26th MEU shut down operation of the Enabler in Macedonia on June 17 and had it back up in Kosovo with a connection to the Defense Information Systems Agency's STEP site in Germany 24 hours later—about the same amount of time it took amphibious tractors to make the drive.
This encouraged Col. James Leonard, Marine Forces Atlantic chief of staff, to give the 26th MEU communicators an unqualified "attaboy" in a message to Lt. Gen. Peter Pace, CG MARFORLANT. "You hardly ever hear anyone complain about comm over here, and that is because the systems are practically always working," the message read. As a former 2531 radio operator, it is nice to come across an instance in which the word "communicator" is not preceded by an adjective that cannot be printed in a family newspaper.
NEW NAVY IT HONCHO? I'm picking up medium-strength signals that the Navy has anointed Joe Cipriano, a Naval Sea Systems Command SESer, as the new program executive officer for information technology, a position that reports to Herb Buchanan, ASN/RDA. I'm told the primary mission of the new PEO is to establish a Navy Worldwide Intranet, a task that Space and Naval Warfare Command chief Cmdr. John Gauss also seems to be engaged in. Is this the start of a miniwar over NWI control?
SPECTRUM WARS. Language in the House version of the DOD spending bill, while not mentioning the company by name, directly targets Loral Corp. and its operation of a planned Globalstar Mobile Satellite System. It seems the Globalstar handsets operate just below the GPS frequency band, and the Pentagon has concerns, backed by Congress, that the handsets would interfere with GPS signals. Evidently Loral chief Bernard Schwartz—the king of Democrat contributors—needs to spread some more money around the Republican-dominated Hill.
INTEGRATING BY BPA. Litton/PRC Inc. recently won a $70 million BPA to continue its decade-long work on the Total Army Personnel System, including services such as application development and database design. Other winners of TAPS BPAs included Electronic Data Systems Corp., GRC International Inc., Computer Associates International Inc. and ASM Associates. Litton/PRC veep Tom McFarland said this award had an interesting twist: PRC will act as program integrator for all the services provided by the other BPA holders. What next, a GSA schedule for integration?