DLA's frequent-flier program

The Defense Logistics Agency knows how to keep its multiyear, multimillion-dollar business systems modernization moving forward. DLA flies the initiative's top leaders, program managers and employees to Washington, D.C., every two weeks to review it.

The agency's Modernization Executive Board convenes biweekly for half-day and sometimes full-day sessions, said David Falvey, DLA's program executive officer.

DLA officials are ingenious. What better way to motivate employees to keep their business systems modernization projects on schedule and on budget than by making them meet every two weeks with their bosses and coworkers? The frequent-flier miles can't hurt, either.

CAC: The chicken or the egg?

Defense Department officials last week extended by six months its Common Access Card rollout to all active-duty and reserve troops. That's good because the October deadline came and went.

DOD officials pushed back the CAC delivery to at least April because of unforeseen delays. The department did not officially recognize them until the week of Oct. 26.

In typical chicken-and-egg fashion, which came first: the delay rolling out the cards or the permission allowing more time to do the job right? DOD officials may not have been prescient in the decision, but at least they made the right one.

Pacom's new digs

A skeleton crew has occupied Pacific Command's new headquarters in Hawaii since it opened doors in August. But come March, watch out because Pacom's new digs will be one of the most wired buildings around, said Air Force Lt. Gen. Robert Dierker, its deputy commander.

"While they're still doing an awful lot of finishing touches inside, we're taking six months to wire the thing," he said. "It's the kind of thing that once you get enough fiber in there, you don't ever want to have to open it up to add more. You want to do it right the first time."

Pacom's new headquarters will house a Navy Marine Corps Intranet facility and a multilevel security backbone, Dierker said.

So what's wrong with the unified command's old one?

"Unfortunately, in some of the old wooden wings, which were built as temporary facilities, the termites really own the place," he said.

IT security/intell reporting rift?

If Blue Force Tracking and situational awareness are DOD's modern-day Holy Grail, then predictive warning of network attacks is the Defense Information Systems Agency's carpenter's cup.

"I have mentioned this to my intelligence community partners a number of times and said, 'You guys are in the business of giving me warnings, and so far in my tenure of command, we've been attacked more than 150,000 times at the root level and you haven't warned me once,'" said Army Maj. Gen. David Bryan, former DISA vice director and commander of Joint Task Force-Computer Network Operations.

The two-star general went on to say, "So if you're looking for a report card on that.... Let's see, zero for 152,000. That's an F."

But there's light at the end of the denial-of-service- attack tunnel. "We've got to get better at that, and we are going to get better because we're going to bring predictive analysis tools to bear," Bryan said.

Armor/aviation rivalry

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld nominated Army Maj. Gen. John Curran to lead the service's Futures Center last week. The new organization will oversee development of the Army's lighter, rapid-deployable Future Force.

Rumsfeld's choice of Curran is a good one. The Army aviator and commanding general of the Army Aviation Center and Fort Rucker, Ala., is able, media-friendly and a lot of fun.

But did Rummy cave to the service's armor/aviation rivalry? This summer he nominated this summer Maj. Gen. Joe Yakovac, the Army's top armored vehicles program official, to be the service's top acquisition officer. Industry officials said the decision miffed Maj. Gen. Joseph Bergantz, the Army's top aviation program official. Bergantz announced this past summer that he would retire next year.

Taking ITES bets

Which information technology solution will Army officials seek first under its IT Enterprise Solutions program? Industry officials are betting they'll choose server consolidations or network streamlining projects. And the statement of objectives — the new buzzwords for what the service wants industry to do — could come as early as December.

The Army did not tip its hand during an Oct. 30 meeting with ITES hardware awardees Dell Inc., GTSI Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp., sources say.

Service officials still need to meet with ITES support services winners IBM Corp., Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman Corp., NCI Information Systems Inc. and QSS Group Inc. So flip a coin to determine which one of 14 areas, such as asset management or information assurance, the Army will target first.

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