Army prepping for Netcom launch

As the Oct. 1 launch of the Army's Network Enterprise Technology Command (Netcom) nears, the service is scrambling to ensure that the implementation is synchronized across the enterprise.

Netcom was established to provide management for the Army's information technology and networks as an enterprise, and it is working to "ensure that the installations, Army contracting and Netcom implementation are postured for an integrated implementation," said Maj. Gen. James Hylton, commander of the Army Signal Command, who will assume command of Netcom.

"It must [utilize] the relationships across all three...and ensure a tight link in the resources implementation across those three as well," Hytlon told FCW after participating in a panel today at the Homeland Security and National Defense Symposium in Atlantic City, N.J.

Netcom includes personnel from the Army Signal Command and other organizations, and is setting up regional CIO offices to coordinate with centralized installation management to oversee command, control, communications and computers (C4) for each region.

The regional chief information officers have been selected and the regional offices will be "largely manned and in place in the first quarter of 2003," Hylton said, adding that "2003 is going to be an interesting year" as decisions are made on how to scale Netcom's responsibilities to the enterprise level.

Lt. Gen. Peter Cuviello, the Army's CIO, said he views Netcom as the Army's component and contribution to the Global Information Grid managed by the Defense Information Systems Agency. The GIG is designed to improve interoperability across the DOD by providing a working framework for moving to network-centric operations.

"It is the means to bring together all the [disparate] networks in the Army, and they're migrating now to Netcom," Cuviello said.

Another aspect of Netcom that will affect the Army CIO's office is the launch of the Enterprise Systems Technology Activity (ESTA), which will include "technology pieces" that used to fall under Cuviello's command, but because of their "operational flavor" will transition to Netcom control, he said.

Those technology pieces include the Army Knowledge Online portal, spectrum management, information assurance and information operations, Cuviello said.

Netcom will be based at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., and include a "forward element" in Washington, D.C., in addition to its regional offices, he said.

The symposium sponsors are the Army's Communications-Electronics Command (Cecom), the Association of the U.S. Army's Fort Monmouth, N.J., chapter, the Association of Old Crows' Garden State chapter, and the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association's Fort Monmouth chapter.

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