Intercepts

Reserve Cyberfront

Some full-time information warriors are already questioning the Pentagon's

wisdom in establishing five virtual information operations and information

assurance organizations to be staffed by reservists. DOD announced Dec.

6 that Deputy Defense Secretary Rudy de Leon had approved the move, saying,

"Members of the Reserve and National Guard are often way ahead by the very

nature of their civilian employment, trained in their workplaces to exploit

information technology."

The relationship between the full-time military and the so-called weekend

warriors can be rocky; however, it has improved in recent years as the military

increasingly relies on reserve forces. Still, at least a few find it hard

to forget, let alone forgive, some ineptness during the Persian Gulf War.

"Did Rudy ever stand on a mountaintop at Fort Irwin while the National Guard

and Reserves were training for Desert Storm and lobbing tank rounds at anything

that moved?" asked one former Army official. "We thought we were going to

have to build a bunch of bunkers just to keep from losing members of Congress

who came out to watch."

Whazzat You Say?

Although one could never tell from the nearly incomprehensible document

recently forwarded to the Interceptor, it appears that after four years

of research, a new Internet tool designed to make it easier for organizations

to field systems capable of seamless data exchange will be available Jan.

1.

A draft announcement was filled with so many acronyms, technical jargon

and really big words that the Interceptor's Batman decoder ring short-circuited.

Here's one of the easier-to-read paragraphs: "After four years of successful

R&D, leading IT organizations are launching the Interoperability Clearinghouse

(ICH), a new nonprofit research and validation consortium, to help demystify

secure E-Business architectures and fill the gaps in the IT value chain.

The ICH's network of IT organizations, software vendors, E-Solutions providers

and domain frameworks for E-Business and Secure Information Infrastructure

is based on industry "best practices.'"

As Grandpappy used to say, could you cripple that and walk it by slow?

Iridium Reincarnates

DOD on Dec. 6 awarded a $72 million satellite communications services

contract to Iridium — no, not the belly-up Iridium, but the new and improved,

phoenix-like Iridium. Iridium LLC and its subsidiaries were declared bankrupt,

but new investors sprinkled around a little cash just in time to win $72

million in taxpayer dollars bound for a new company known as Iridium Satellite

LLC. The new firm theoretically will provide some parts, services and maintenance

for all those Iridium satellites and handsets purchased by the Pentagon

before the old company went up in smoke. In short, the new Iridium keeps

DOD's previous investment afloat, and DOD may be returning that favor.

The Name Game

ACCWay, an organization within Air Combat Command that has focused on

re-engineering the entire information technology life-cycle process, changed

its name Dec. 5 to — drum roll, please — Air Force Way. The Air Force acted

because it has decided to deploy the organization's system for online purchasing

of computer equipment across the service. The first contract affected likely

will be Air Force Standard Systems Group's blanket purchase agreement for

personal computers, due for award around Dec. 15.

As with previous BPAs, the Air Force could make one enterprisewide award

or could award different lots. Whatever happens, Standard Systems Group

will likely push for the highest possible funding fee from industry that

it can get.

Intercept something? Send it to antenna@fcw.com.

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