It's Not Just a Job, It's an Arcade

The Navy is truly a modernized and transforming force. The service has all the latest in ships, communications technology, weapons systems games?

That's right, kids. The Interceptor has learned that if you join the Navy now, or if you are already a member, you can have free access to some of the latest video game platforms, all courtesy of the American taxpayer.

According to a solicitation notice issued by the Navy Personnel Command's Morale, Welfare and Recreation Division, the Navy is looking to purchase Nintendo Game Boy game kits and Sony PlayStation 2 video game consoles for its sailors. Not only that, the Navy is actually soliciting specific games.

Some of the games the Navy is seeking seem obvious choices, because of their strong military slant. Included in this category are "Medal of Honor: Frontline," a first-person shooter game in which the player assumes the character of an officer of the Office of Strategic Services (predecessor of the CIA) fighting Nazis in World War II, and "SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALS," a game centered around the Navy's elite special forces unit.

Others, however, are a bit harder to explain. The Navy is looking to buy "Grand Theft Auto III," a game initially banned in Australia for its violent content, and "Fire Pro Wrestling" — possibly to teach hand-to-hand combat?

Security Upgrade

The Defense secretary will soon issue a directive putting a renewed emphasis on operational security (opsec) throughout the department.

Tom Mauriello, director of the interagency opsec support staff, said a document that has been awaiting Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's signature since before Operation Iraqi Freedom began would focus more funding and guidance on the realm of operational security.

Mauriello's comments came during a June 4 speech at the Army Small Computer Program's IT conference. He refused to answer any follow-up questions and would only tell the Interceptor that there will soon be a "resurgence of emphasis" on opsec coming from the Pentagon.

DOD Acquisition Rebellion?

The Army had to convince 55 people before milestone approval was granted for its Transportation Coordinators' Automated Information for Movements System (TC-AIMS), and with that many hoops to jump through, Defense Department personnel are demanding a streamlined process led by the acquisition community, said Kevin Carroll, the Army's program executive officer for enterprise information systems.

"Customers don't want to do that, they'll just do their own thing" if there's a choice between going through a lengthy acquisition and approval process or cobbling together an in-house solution, Carroll said at last week's Army Small Computer Program conference.

The DOD acquisition process entails determining that security, enterprise integration and testing requirements are all met, but guidance from the Pentagon, including the new Directive 5000 series, demands a more streamlined system. Carroll said the ongoing "acquisition rebellion" should lead to a better way of doing business.

DOD's Alphabet Soup

Anyone who knows anything about DOD knows the folks at the Pentagon love their letters. A conversation with a Defense official will inevitably yield a treasure-trove of acronyms.

The problem is the darned things are always changing. What's here today may be gone tomorrow, and if you're not an insider, you could quickly fall behind the times.

Case in point: The moniker for DOD's chief information officer, known inside the Pentagon as the ASD-C3I (assistant secretary of defense for command, control, communications and intelligence), is no longer in vogue. C3I is a term that has been retired, according to Priscilla Guthrie, the department's deputy CIO, only to be replaced by networks, information and integration (NII or NI2).

But wait, there's more.

Guthrie said the move from C3I to NII isn't the only change taking place. The department's Financial Management Modernization Program, or FMMP, is now the Business Management Modernization Program, or BMMP.

And the department's time-honored system of disseminating information, TPED — task, process, exploit and disseminate — is definitely on the outs. TPED is being replaced by the unfortunately named TPPU (pronounced tee-poo), which stands for task, post, process and use. The TPED-to-TPPU switch is good because it's designed to quickly get information into the hands of those who need it most.

But can a combat division commander or fleet admiral really look their subordinates in the eye and say, "Damn it, we need better tee-poo!"

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