Intercepts

Pacific CA

U.S. Pacific Command's authority encompasses 102 million square miles and about 220,000 — military and civilian staff members. That breadth can make downloading personal certificates from a certificate authority (CA) in Chambersburg, Pa., time consuming and frustrating.

For that reason, the Marine Forces Pacific, which is scheduled to shift to a new public-key infrastructure in the second quarter of 2003, has requested that the Defense Information Systems Agency locate a CA somewhere in the Pacific region, said Col. Mark Clapp, speaking last month at AFCEA International's TechNet Asia-Pacific 2002 conference in Honolulu.

Army Col. Randy Strong of Pacom headquarters said the command has been pushing "very hard" for DISA, which manages the Chambersburg CA and another in Denver, to set up a regional facility to serve the Pacific region.

Awareness at Sea

The Coast Guard is preparing a document focused on "increased maritime domain awareness" that lays out exactly how the agency would like to share information with government and industry stakeholders to get a complete picture of every person and product entering the United States by sea.

Rear Adm. Ralph Utley, commander of the 14th Coast Guard district, said the document is modeled after the agency's strategy for the $17 billion Deepwater program, in which the Coast Guard laid out its requirements and then asked industry for the best way to accomplish them.

Cmdr. Rick Stanchi, maritime domain awareness coordinator at Coast Guard headquarters, said the concept paper would include surveillance and intelligence strategies, as well as "unprecedented sharing and movement of information."

Achieving increased awareness will require data mined from all the organizations involved, including the Coast Guard, the Defense Department, international partners, industry, as well as state and local government agencies, Stanchi said. He added that "gap assessments" are being conducted by the various players as they attempt to identify current capabilities and threats while planning for future ones.

Once the Coast Guard and its partners have identified those gaps, requirements for both short- and long-term solutions will be presented. Vendors are already pitching possible solutions, Stanchi said. "It's a huge task."

Taking the C2 Helm

U.S. Joint Forces Command soon will be managing the Defense Department's joint command and control (C2) decisions.

"Joint Forces Command will be fully in charge of joint command and control, and we're making them accountable by giving them the money to do it," said Army Lt. Gen. Joseph Kellogg Jr., director of command, control, communications and computer systems for the Joint Staff. He made his comments last month during a luncheon sponsored by the Washington, D.C., chapter of AFCEA International.

Kellogg said the command will set requirements, control funding and oversee systems integration decisions for all DOD joint C2 programs.

To help speed up DOD's "slow, cumbersome acquisition process," Joint Forces Command also is establishing an Information Technology Development Center (ITDC), which will serve as a joint C2 collaboration nexus for government and industry, he said.

Kellogg said the ITDC should be operating with initial capabilities within six months. The ITDC will make it easier for DOD to collaborate with the private sector on joint C2 programs and technologies by eliminating the need for contractors to make the same pitch to various Pentagon offices, he said. n

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