DOD switches in Japan have no Y2K hiccups

The Defense Department's global network passed a key date-code milestone at midnight in Japan (10 a.m. EST), when four switches on that network running on Japan time switched to the Year 2000 without a blip.

Although much of the global Defense Information Systems Network operates on Zulu time, which is correlated to the Greenwich Median, the four switches in Japan operate on local time for billing information purposes with local carriers.

Col. Mike Harvey, commander of the Defense Information Systems Agency-Pacific, said the four DISN switches in Japan—three on the main islands, and one on Okinawa—made the date rollover "without a hiccup."

These Nortel voice switches are vital to the Pentagon's capability to respond quickly to worldwide crises because they provide high-level users with the ability to pre-empt other callers on traffic-clogged networks. Harvey said the pre-emption capability was tested extensively.

Harvey arrived at Wheeler Army Airfield headquarters at 3:30 a.m. today in Oahu, Hawaii, along with 100 other DISA-PAC staff members, and plans to stay until 2 a.m. Jan. 1. He said the real test for the network he oversees throughout the Pacific will come at midnight Zulu time, or 7 p.m. EST today.

"From a command perspective, there is a lot of interest in Zulu," he said.

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