Air Force forms new IT office

The Air Force created a new organization Sept. 2 to develop a servicewide information technology architecture and study ways to improve administration networks' management.

The Business Modernization Systems Integration Office will issue a plan in October and update it this spring, said John Gilligan, Air Force chief information officer, speaking Sept. 24 at a Federal Sources Inc. breakfast meeting.

The Air Force business enterprise architecture will adhere to the Defense Department's Architecture Framework Version 1.0, due in early October. DOD officials define architecture as "the fundamental organization of a system embodied in its components, their relationship to each other and to the environment, and the principles guiding its design and evolution."

"We will be mindful of our combat support mission" when formulating the Air Force's enterprise architecture, said Gilligan.

The new office also will consider new ways to streamline Air Force business systems, which Congress scrutinized in the 2004 budget process with department and service administration networks.

Gilligan took exception with congressional reports that say DOD IT budgets increased 15 percent in their operation and maintenance accounts. He said the Air Force's business systems' spending isn't expected to rise in the next three years, despite increases in the service's overall IT budgets: $5.9 billion for 2003, a proposed $6.5 billion for 2004 and the upcoming $7.3 billion request for 2005.

Warfighting systems caused or will cause the Air Force's IT funding growth, and it will continue, Gilligan said. This will be documented in DOD's and Air Force's 2005 IT budgets, which will report IT spending as business or warfighting, he said.

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