Intercepts

Cry havoc! And let slip the Intercepts of war. The Interceptor is reporting from both the home front and Kuwait.

Despite War, Financial Management Rolls On

The ongoing modernization of the Defense Department's financial management systems will sally forth, even in the face of war. Catherine Santana, deputy director for enterprise architecture in the DOD Financial Management Modernization Program Office, told the Interceptor that nothing — not war, not famine, not plague — will prevent the financial programs from seeing their way through to the end.

"This program will not be lost in the war or any other event," Santana said. "We will continue to move forward. This project still remains No. 9" on Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's "Top 10 list."

Financial management tends to be the less visible, less glamorized portion of transformation, Santana said. But she asserts that her role in DOD transformation is as important as any other.

NMCI Delays?

On the other hand, the Interceptor has learned that the war could delay the rollout of the Navy Marine Corps Intranet.

Just when NMCI was starting to hit its stride, activating nearly 70,000 seats total, many of the users got up and deployed to the Middle East.

NMCI Director Rear Adm. Charles Munns said the rate at which the Marine Corps can shift users to the network will dictate the rollout's pace until the project is finished.

Quantico, Va., will be the first Marine Corps base to begin using NMCI. But, Munns said, it's hard to educate a command on the use of NMCI when half of that command is deployed on the front lines.

On another note, rumors that the Navy was going to require all NMCI sites to have contractor EDS take responsibility for the network infrastructure — the first step of the rollover process — by May 1 proved to be untrue, but it will nearly happen.

Assumption of responsibility (AOR), as the initial phase is called, is when EDS takes over the existing network. Full activation takes place when the company starts to move users from the existing network to the NMCI network.

Munns told the Interceptor that some commands are overdue for AOR. To balance out, he said some commands that weren't scheduled for that phase until later this year will be moved up to May 1. And, he said, he plans to have all commands and all seats in the AOR stage this summer.

C3I, ISR Highly Sought-After Prizes

Allied bombers streaking over the Iraqi sky are, as often as not, searching for command and control networks to further disable the Iraqi army. While simultaneously destroying the enemy's ability to communicate to its forces, allied commanders lauded their own command and control capabilities.

Although the wind, rain and sand have severely limited visibility and hindered certain military helicopters, coalition forces have plenty of options that are not weather-dependent, said Air Force Maj. Gen. Victor Renuart, director of operations at Central Command in Kuwait.

"The weather does affect Apaches, but we have an integrated air approach," and the coalition forces are using aircraft that are not affected by the weather, Renuart said last week during a press briefing from Qatar. "We have the most sophisticated [intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance] assets in the world. They're working well and allowing us to continue to operate."

Army Brig. Gen. Vincent Brooks, speaking to the Interceptor, showed demonstrations of DOD weapons successfully destroying Iraqi military targets and said that in addition to vehicles, weapons and depots, coalition forces are also targeting and destroying command, control, communications and intelligence nodes in Iraq.

Middle East Snail E-mail

Sparing no expense, the Interceptor has gone global to bring you the latest from the battlefront.

The Interceptor has heard grumblings about the Central Command's network for troops in rear echelons in Kuwait. Some troops were overheard complaining about DOD Web mail systems being slow. Officials did not return calls.

And Finally...

After championing NMCI for so very long, Navy chief information officer Dave Wennergren is finally hooked up to the network. At a luncheon sponsored by AFCEA International Inc. earlier this year, an observant audience member pointed out that Wennergren was not yet on board. At an AFCEA event this month, he announced that the situation had been rectified.

Given the cheerleading Wennergren has led for the multibillion-dollar effort, you can bet he'll probably be one of the "satisfied" members of the NMCI community.

Intercept something? Send it to antenna@fcw.com.

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