DMS officially replaces Autodin

The Defense Message System came online Sept. 15, fully replacing the Automatic

Digital Network System and becoming the military's official system for passing

all general service messages classified at the top-secret level and below.

The military already has made significant progress in making DMS the

system of choice, having passed more than 1 million messages over the system

in August, according to DISA spokeswoman Cassandra White.

"DMS is currently deployed at over 250 locations worldwide and is being

used by all services and agencies," White said.

The oft-maligned $1.6 billion system is designed to provide secure multimedia

messaging and directory service desktop-to-desktop throughout the military.

It also modernizes command and control messaging capability by allowing

for multimedia attachments.

Replacing Autodin, which is based on 1960s technology, is intended to

reduce cost and staffing demands. The switch to DMS requires the system

to be implemented on more than 360,000 desktop computers at more than 7,000

sites worldwide and to support message exchanges with tactical forces, allies,

other designated federal government users and defense contractors, according

to a Pentagon report on the system released this year.

"DMS is based on commercial off-the-shelf products and as such offers

significant enhancements over the legacy Autodin messaging — most significantly,

the ability to provide multimedia messaging and directory services," White

said. "[Defense Department] activities will continue to operationalize DMS

in the coming months, thereby reducing the reliance on the dated [Autodin

system]. DMS will become the single messaging solution in [DOD], to include

tactical and intelligence community messaging."

Pentagon testers and evaluators reported early this year that the system

has shown "remarkable improvement," with all but one of six critical operational

issues having been resolved and all but four of 14 critical measures of

performance having met the criteria established by the joint staff.

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