- By George I. Seffers
- Dec 10, 2000
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
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.
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?
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.
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