SilentRunner Or SilentSpy?

Air Force Lt. Gen. Michael Hayden, director of the National Security Agency, must be gaining new fans among his information technology workforce.In mid-February, Hayden passed out the agency's first-ever royalty checks to two employees for inventing software source code later licensed to Raytheon Co. and developed into SilentRunner, a commercial network surveillance programs old back to NSA, the Defense Department and others. The effort marks the first time a commercial product has been developed at NSA and sold to a private business, and it is the first time NSA employees have benefited from a company's revenue stream through continuing royalty payments. NSA technology being used to spy on citizens — who'd believe such a thing?

Knowledge Unlimited

The Interceptor's cadre of artificial intelligence agents scouring the Internet 24/7 has discovered that Computer Sciences Corp. recently completed its business blueprint for the Army's $680 million Wholesale Logistics Modernization Program. Dubbed LogMod, the program outsources modernization of the service's 30-year-old logistics systems with enterprise resource planning software applications.

CSC officials are crowing over the plan. "Never did so few deliver so much to so many," said John Lawson, CSC's integrated product team chief.Completion of the business blueprint marks the beginning of the next phase of the program, beginning with proof-of-concept activities to be completed in June. The blueprint is available only to LogMod account holders in the restricted portion of the WLMP Web site. An article on the WLMP home page says the blueprint "represents the cumulative knowledge of both Team CSC and the community of government matter experts." just see about that.

Kick It Good

Because intelligence sources often are more concerned with protecting their own little fiefdoms than working together, the Air Force is considering buying a Boeing 767-like aircraft capable of performing all the intelligence missions currently done by numerous spy planes, including the U-2, JSTARS and others, according to Gen. John Jumper, who leads Air Combat Command and has been instrumental in developing the Air Force vision for a Global Strike Task Force. The concept relies on stealthy aircraft such as the F-22 fighter and B-2 bomber to take out air defense targets, clearing the way for a more sustained air campaign.

The do-it-all spy planes and so-called predictive intelligence capabilities are critical for the Global Strike Task Force, also known as the Kick-in-the-Door force. Sounds like a Kick-in-the-Posterior force known as Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld should have the same effect.

All Fogged Up

Army officials describe the RAH-66 Comanche scout reconnaissance helicopter as "the quarterback of the digital battlefield," with its radars,forward-looking infrared and image-intensified video cameras designed to help U.S. troops see through the fog of war. But many say the $47.8 billion program is troubled.The helicopter has been in development for more than a decade and so far the service has only two prototypes. And Pentagon testers recently dinged the helicopter on a number of issues, including weight growth,direction stability and the integration of information technologies.

When one prototype was four hours late during the Association of the United States Army winter symposium in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., one conference attendee quipped that the Army should have loaded the helicopter onto a truck. The reason for the delay? The chopper couldn't fly until the fog in Florida lifted.

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