Can We Talk?

Some warriors are just so impatient. Instead of counting on the information technology fairy waving a digitization wand to make the Army Battle Command System a reality, some Army commanders are racing to buy commercial products. That could mean trouble on the future battlefield because units with individual — and likely incompatible — commercial systems will be unable to share information, according to one high-ranking service official.

"Some of those who are low on the priority list for ABCS are going out and buying their own homegrown solutions," the official said. "There's a whole series of these surrogate solutions, potentially without commonality. The question is, What will happen when III Corps shows up to the fight and these guys can't talk to them?"

It's just the latest breakdown on the information superhighway, which is always under construction.

Turtles and Bombs

As if the rivalry between American and Chinese Web site vandals was not enough, the U.S. Navy may come under what could be described as a denial-of-service attack now that it has resumed bombing on the Puerto Rican island of Vieques. Ben Ramos, who claims to be affiliated with an organization called ProLibertad, recently posted the e-mail addresses of several Navy officials from Naval Station Roosevelt Roads in Puerto Rico on an anti-NATO e-mail list. "The above are e-mails that belong to several Navy officials and officers," Ramos wrote. "Send them an e-mail demanding that the U.S. Navy leave Vieques immediately. Spread these e-mails far and wide as well!!" Seems like harsh treatment for a service that's saving sea turtles and providing sanctuary for blackbirds. See for details.

Multibillion $ Crypto

The Interceptor's supersecret 21st century signals intelligence device has heard that the National Security Agency is expected to move forward with a classified program for cryptologic mission management. The effort, likely valued at several billion dollars, would involve the entire intelligence community.

Although he could not discuss details, Harry Gatanas, the senior acquisition official for the Defense Department's spy agency, said on May 2 that he would make a decision on the plan later that day during a meeting of a multiagency intelligence acquisition review board. More details will be available once the Interceptor gets the upgrade for his Batman decoder ring.

Later, My.AirForce

The Air Force is in danger of missing its June deadline for having all combat support functions available on the Air Force portal, My.AirForce, according to Lt. Gen. John Woodward, Air Force deputy chief information officer. "I'm not sure we're going to make that, but we're gonna make a bunch" available, Woodward told the Washington, D.C., chapter of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association during an April 25 lunch. Currently, about 95 applications are available, and Woodward said another 205 should be available within two months.

And the Winner Is...

The Army's $680 million Wholesale Logistics Modernization Program won awards in all three categories in the first annual Army Materiel Command Partnering Awards Program. WLMP won top honors in the overall partnering program category. Jeff Plotnick, Computer Sciences Corp.'s WLMP program manager, was recognized in the individual contractor category, and the Communications-Electronics Command's Larry Asch, also with WLMP, won in the government employee category. CSC is modernizing the Army's wholesale logistics systems with state-of-the-art enterprise resource planning applications.

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