Military targets problem systems

The military has targeted 19 command and control systems that create most

of the problems for the regional commanders in chief.

Protoype fixes for at least two of the problem systems were to be tested

at Combined Endeavor 2000, an exercise being held in Europe to test the

interoperability of NATO nations' communcations equipment.

Jacques Gansler, undersecretary of Defense for acquisition and technology,

approved the list in the fall and will be briefed on possible remedies June

19, an Army official said. If Gansler approves the recommendations, it will

be up to individual program managers and agencies to implement fixes.

The list has been dubbed the 20/80 list because it includes the "20

percent of systems that cause 80 percent of the problems" for the CINCs,

Army officials say.

The list of 19 systems includes:

* The Global Command and Control System, which provides commanders one

predominant source for generating, receiving, sharing and using information

securely.

* Mobile Subscriber Equipment, which provides users with a means of

communicating throughout the battlefield, regardless of location, in either

a stationary or mobile situation.

* Tri-service tactical communications systems, which is a general term

for the tactical communications used by all three military services, including

the Single Channel Ground-to-Air Radio System.

An Army spokesman with the Communications-Electronics Command, Fort

Monmouth, said the service will not provide the entire list for "operational

security reasons" and because it includes programs managed by the other

services.

The systems were identified by the CINC Interoperability Program Offices.

The Defense Department established one CINC interoperability program office

in each of the three services to work directly with the CINCs in identifying

problems with the ability of information systems to share data. The CIPOs

also work with the CINCS to ensure that new information systems being developed

address interoperability from program inception.

"We found a variety of problems. Some were technical, some were policy

problems, and some were procedural problems," said Army Col. Winthrop Cooper,

director of the Army-hosted CIPO at Fort Monmouth, N.J.

The problem with Mobile Subscriber Equipment and tri-service tactical

communication systems is that they do not support an interface with the

European-based Integrated Services Digital Network standard and thus are

not interoperable with NATO and Partnership for Peace nations, Cooper said.

The CIPOs already have a prototype fix for the problem and will be demonstrating

it during Combined Endeavor.

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