- By Dan Verton
- May 08, 2000
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 shift...is 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
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.