Briefs

Shooting for the moon

The Air Force is launching several initiatives focused on a transformation of space operations related to national security.

Air Force undersecretary Peter Teets, who is also director of the National Reconnaissance Office, said the initiative's goal was to bring together military and national intelligence elements to provide the nation with the best space-based security systems possible.

Teets created two offices under his command to help carry out the work. A deputy for military space will oversee the military side of space activities and complement the NRO deputy director, Dennis Fitzgerald, who manages the daily operations at that agency.

A directorate of national security space integration, led by Maj. Gen. (select) Michael Hamel, will be responsible for implementing best practices of military and national space programs.

DOD resets smart card deadline

The Defense Department will not make its goal of having digital certificates in the hands of all 3.5 million DOD personnel by October and instead is looking to have those certificates to all DOD personnel one year later, by

October 2003.

The initial DOD mandate, which was set in 1999, was probably overly aggressive, said Dave Wennergren, the Navy's deputy chief information officer for e-business and security. Wennergren is also part of the team in charge of DOD's effort to distribute the Common Access Cards (CAC) across the department.

DOD started handing out the cards — a secure, multiapplication smart card for physical identification and building and network access — in October 2001. CACs are embedded with digital certificates that will enable secure communications across the organization.

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