Intercepts

Another Delay in WLMP? My Fort Monmouth, N.J., antenna site has picked up medium-strength signals that Army Cecom may delay award of the $1 billion Wholesale Logistics Modernization Program contract until Dec. 27, which should make a good post-holiday present for the winner of the two remaining bidders - Computer Sciences Corp. and Raytheon Corp. Tom Michelli, a former Cecom pooh-bah who now runs a consulting business, said that he has no strong indications of a slight slip in the award date but that it's quite possible.

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MMAD-1 Scope Change. The Army Small Computer Program Office may change the weighting factors in the evaluation of its $500 million planned Maxi-Minis and Databases-1 procurement to more accurately reflect the significant services covered by the contract, Michelli said. Looks like a gaggle of federal widget suppliers plan to bid on this one: 23 companies showed up for a pre-solicitation conference. Look for the MMAD-1 request for proposal in early January and the award in April or early May, Michelli said.

Secure Iridiums. DOD will start furnishing users this month with Iridium LLC's secure satellite telephone handsets, will start testing them in January and expects initial operating capability by March, according to Marine Maj. Roger Stone, the new Mobile Satellite Services program manager at Defense Information Systems Agency.

Although Iridium has lackluster success in commercial markets - which led to its bankruptcy earlier this year - the U.S. government has embraced the new system, with 1,300 users registered through the DISA-operated gateway in Hawaii. DOD, as well as other agencies, views the system as a good backup to terrestrial telephone systems, Stone said. The Federal Reserve - responsible for the nation's money supply - has recently acquired Iridium handsets as a backup in case of Year 2000 problems. The phones will operate through the DISA gateway.

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Millennial Logo. The Naval Sea Systems Command has (as far as I can determine) beaten everyone in DOD in showcasing its millennial logo, unveiled last month by Vice Adm. Pete Nanos, Navsea commander. Nanos called the new logo a "symbol of commitment, excellence and world-class performance." Because Navsea also has an animated version available on the Navsea World Wide Web page at www.navsea.navy.mil, I can hardly wait to find out the animated logo plans of the Army's Institute for Heraldry.

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The Y2K Grind. The Year 2000 bug looks ready to ruin New Year's for a lot of folks at DOD. Commands worldwide plan to heavily staff command centers, and public affairs departments plan to be ready to respond to a legion of pesky reporters (the Interceptor included) who plan to follow the dawn of the new era around the globe.

The Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs in the Pentagon will be well-staffed, I'm told, and the CINCPACFLT public affairs shop will have staggers ready throughout its dateline-straddling compound, including Guam - "where America's day begins." I guess if PACFLT reports Guam survived the Year 2000 bug, we can all sleep easy.

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