Quit Whining About DMS

My Pentagon code talkers have deciphered a message from Lt. Gen. John

Woodward, the Joint Staff's J-6, to the Chief of Naval Operations. Although

he didn't say it quite so directly, his message was clear: Stop whining

about the Defense Message System and get on board. The message, sent April

25, comes after Rear Adm. R.W. Mayo, the Navy's director of space, information

warfare, command and control, dispatched a memo complaining about DMS' inability

to support Navy users and its overall failure to adequately replace the

Automatic Digital Network [FCW, April 10].

Although "DMS has created unique challenges for the entire joint community

[and] the paradigm not trivial, continued operation with a legacy

system that regularly experiences network traffic saturation, message backlogs

and minimized conditions is not an option," wrote Woodward. He went on to

remind the Navy that it has been an "active participant" in DMS testing

and the decision to field the latest release, Version 2.1.

The "Greatest Generation'

Fifty-eight years ago this week, the Interceptor's father and 12 other

sailors etched their names on World War II history as the only survivors

from the destroyer USS Sims (DD-409), sunk by the Japanese on May 7, 1942,

during the opening salvos of the Battle of the Coral Sea.

As the first epic aircraft carrier battle in history (and the first

naval air battle where the enemy ships never came into visual contact with

each other), the Battle of the Coral Sea offers a view to just how far the

Navy's war- fighting capabilities have come. When the two task forces entered

the Coral Sea, neither knew the exact location of the other. Satellites,

the Global Positioning System and real-time mapping did not exist. But the

Japanese got lucky and 36 dive-bombers sent Sims to the bottom along with

more than 250 crewmen.

The 13 survivors clung to life for four days aboard a damaged whaleboat.

Of course, none of the survivors had a handheld GPS or deployable messaging

capability. Maybe Woodward is onto something with his message to stop whining

about DMS.

Jumping Ship

Last week the Interceptor told you about the Pentagon's acting deputy

chief information officer Paul Brubaker's plan to dot-compensate himself

with a new job in Silicon Valley and the questions it raised about the future

of the Navy/Marine Corps Intranet deal. Add Navy undersecretary Jerry Hultin

to the list of swabbies abandoning ship.

Hultin plans to take the helm of the Stevens Institute of Technology's

Wesley J. Howe School of Technology Management.

Joint Vision 2020

My E-ring receiving station parked next to the lunch stand in the Pentagon

courtyard has picked up low-level signals that Joint Vision 2020 — the successor

to JV 2010, which for years has guided the Pentagon in its effort to create

a seamless, digital battlefield — is now in the works. Sources report that

the new warfighting concept known as information operations gets heavy treatment

in the new planning document. But competition among the services has heated

up for new money from the new vision.

Here's what my sources are saying

about the contenders:

Army: Poor track record on transforming visions into reality.

Navy: Good choice but is likely to try to pay for JV 2020 without asking

Congress for any new money, a la N/MCI.

Marines: Know who they are and what they are doing just enough to make

anybody else's vision seem nearsighted.

Air Force: Patient political player. Using lessons learned from Kosovo to

make its case. Has already taken first step by absorbing the Joint Task

Force for Computer Network Defense and currently has its eyes on the Defense

Information Systems Agency.


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