Air Force piloting SIPRNET portal

The Air Force is developing a portal that runs on the Defense Department's Secret Internet Protocol Router Network (SIPRNET) in an attempt to provide air operations centers "point and click" access to an integrated set of secure information.

Lt. Gen. Leslie Kenne, deputy chief of staff for warfighting integration at Air Force headquarters, said the SIPRNET portal is being tested as a way to eliminate the "disconnect between the force and the unit level" and will enable users to simply "point and click" to get the information they want.

The portal is being piloted at the Combined Air Operations Center at Langley, Air Force Base, Va., Kenne said, speaking Nov. 13 at Air Force IT Day, sponsored by the Northern Virginia chapter of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) International. She said her office is working the Air Force's Office of the Chief Information Officer on the project.

"We can only make good use [of the portal] with a good database plan, database management, and databases that are tagged so they can be accessed easily.... None of those three things exist today," Kenne said. "A policy decision will be coming out on that very soon with metrics to go along with it. We need to be an enforcer [on this]...and it will be top-down driven."

Air Force CIO John Gilligan agreed. "In a very short time, we have been able to integrate a fairly large set of what I call services into a portal that provides a view from the operations center," he told FCW. "It's an integrated way of accessing information, that in the past, has been location-centric. This will open up our vision on how to build applications in the future."

The portal was first demonstrated after only about four weeks of development, and is progressing through a spiral development process, Kenne told FCW. She said she saw the demonstration, or "first spiral," at the beginning of October and is confident that the SIPRNET portal will become operational.


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