Word on WIN-T

The antennas on the Interceptor's mobile receiving station parked outside the front gate at Fort Monmouth, N.J., are abuzz with the possibil.ity the $3 billion Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T), the Army's biggest communications effort, might be restructured. This tactical intranet will provide wired and wireless voice, data and video communications using commercial technologies. It also is supposed to be mobile, secure and survivable and will integrate ground-, airborne- and satellite-based capabilities into a network infrastructure. The possible restructuring is the result of a change in leadership. The project manager, Col. Edward Siomacco, is being reassigned, and Maj. Gen. Steven Boutelle left his post of program executive officer for command, control and communications systems June 28. The moves have led to speculation that the project could be in for some changes. The architecture for the proj.ect was approved in 1996, but the program has not yet gotten far off the ground. No need to worry, though. Every military IT program these days includes a plan for keeping up with the rapid pace of technological change.

Dragon Eye Flying High

The Dragon Eye miniature plane reportedly wowed observers at the Navy's latest Kernel Blitz experiment in Southern California. Kernel Blitz exercises are designed to test technologies and doctrine for the next decade.

Dragon Eye is a 5-pound surveillance plane that can be carried in a Marine's backpack. It includes a miniature camera for gathering intelligence on enemy troops. A 10-pound remote-control station can reprogram the plane in flight.

"Dragon Eye is ready for use right now, and it gives the Marines in the field a clear tactical advantage," retired Gen. Al Gray, a former Marine Corps commandant, said in a written statement. Just hope it doesn't belch fire and cop a nasty attitude.

Portal Sharing

The military services are discussing a possible software license agreement to share Web portal computing facilities, said Lt. Col. Roderick Wade, who heads the Army Knowledge Online effort. Wade said June 27 that Miriam Browning, the Army's director of information man.....agement, and Lawrence Delaney, Air Force chief information officer, had met a few weeks earlier to discuss using collaborative tools on their individual portals and possibly buying the same software to save money. In addition, as the services seek to host their portals at more than one location—thus reducing bandwidth demands and providing faster service and backup servers—they are considering sharing sites and equipment, possibly using existing facilities owned by the Defense Information Systems Agency.

Flood Gates

National Security Agency officials intend today to publicly release their internal recommendations for securing the Microsoft Corp. Windows 2000 operating system. They expect lots of folks to be downloading files. A pop-up message activated by clicking the NSA link for the security recommendations warns that the agency is updating its Web site to "better handle the demands placed on downloading files." Great demand for Windows security? But why? Cplant

Sandia National Laboratories has released a computer program called Cplant that can be downloaded from the Internet and used to connect hundreds of desktop computers to create one supercomputer. The intent is to enable researchers to connect their desktops. Sandia has tested up to 1,000 computers operating at 500 gigaflops—half a trillion operations per second—and plans to connect 5,000 within the next two years. The effort is guaranteed to be loved by researchers and hackers alike.

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