- By Dan Verton
- Jun 26, 2000
Washington GIG Wigs
The Joint Forces Command is frantically preparing the capstone requirements
document for the Defense Department's Global Information Grid design, according
to Army Brig. Gen. Jerry McElwee, JFCOM's J-6. During the process of writing
the document, Pentagon planners discovered that the radio frequency spectrum
had become "a very valuable commodity," said McElwee, speaking last week
at the TechNet International 2000 expo, sponsored by the Armed Forces Communications
and Electronics Association. In fact, in the next five years, the requirement
for RF spectrum will double throughout DOD, he said.
Speaking of Bandwidth...
My mole inside the Senior Executive Service reports that at a recent
Navy N6 conference the 7th Fleet's N6 distributed coins to conference attendees
as a way to highlight the Navy's most pressing concern. According to Rear
Adm. John Gauss, commander of the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command,
the coin was engraved with the following message: "Give me bandwidth or
give me death." Low-level reports indicate that Navy CIO Dan Porter may
be considering a similar strategy to get his message across to the throng
of Navy/Marine Corps Intranet detractors on Capitol Hill. However, I don't
think that message will fit on a coin.
The Retirement Factor
If there is one revolving door in Washington, D.C., that doesn't need
any oil, it's the one between the Pentagon and Virginia's Dulles corridor,
otherwise known as the Silicon Valley of the East. However, low-level reports
indicate that it's not money that attracts the Pentagon's stars, but a chance
to see things clearly, according to Army Brig. Gen. Peter Cuviello, commander
of the Army Signal Center at Fort Gordon, Ga. "I can't wait to retire,"
Cuviello told a crowd of industry reps. "Because when you retire from the
service, the crystal ball becomes so much clearer on what you need to do"
about interoperability problems.
Speaking of Retirement...
Air Force Lt. Col. Glenn Taylor last week told the Interceptor that
he has submitted his retirement papers and plans to give up the post at
the Commercial Information Technology Product Area Directorate at the Standard
Systems Group in Montgomery, Ala. My Hanscom Air Force Base receiver station
has picked up signals that Col. Neal Fox from the Electronic Systems Center,
SSG's parent command up north, has packed his bags and plans to assume command
Some in the information technology community are wondering why the Joint
Staff doesn't consolidate all of the IT acquisition commands throughout
DOD so that everybody buys the same equipment, and maybe, with a little
bit of luck, it will all work together. No can do, said Air Force Lt. Gen.
John Woodward, Joint Staff J-6. "Consolidation is not going to fly," said
Woodward, a comment that had Electronic Systems Center, SSG and ACC-WAY
written all over it. It might make sense from a contracting standpoint to
create one or two large ESC-like organizations, but the individual services
need the expertise they offer in their own mission areas, Woodward said.
Standards. Yeah, Right.
Industry is having a hard time finding a DOD representative among the
multitudes of commercial standards bodies that are charting the future course
of the Internet and global communications. DOD can do more to be proactive
in pushing for the standards it needs. But Dawn Hartley, the chief technology
officer at the Defense Information Systems Agency, said, "We cannot possibly
participate in every consortium out there."
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