Guard, Reserves to combine networks

ATLANTA — The Army's goal to establish a single, servicewide computer network gained momentum this week as the National Guard and the Reserves decided to merge their networks, the Army's chief information officer/G-6 announced today.

The memorandum of agreement between the Guard and Reserves will let the Army manage the two organization's sites — 3,300 for GuardNet and 940 for ARNet — as one enterprise, said Lt. Gen. Steve Boutelle, speaking at the 2003 Army Directors of Information Management Conference, cosponsored by CIO/G-6 office and the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association.

The accord not only paves the way for an Army virtual network but also achieves a service and CIO objective to make people and equipment more relevant in warfighting, Boutelle said. It also lays the foundation for a homeland defense system if Strategic Command officials opt to use it, he said.

Today's announcement marks the third initiative in 12 months to create an Army enterprise network. Officials formed Network Enterprise Technology Command last October to operate and maintain their networks and agreed in June to absorb the Reserves' CIO operations.

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