CACI's calamity

The prisoner abuse scandal at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison is going to have ramifications beyond the inner circles of the Defense Department. They are extending into the vendor community.

Emerging as a target of public and media criticism is contractor CACI International Inc., which has provided myriad computer-related services to DOD and other government agencies. According to reports, it appears CACI employees were hired to interrogate the prisoners at the prison through a 1998 contract that was intended to cover technology services.

The computer skills of CACI's employees haven't been called into question, but concerns are being raised from Pentagon to White House officials about this apparent end run around the normal way of doing business.

Will there be a cause and effect? Right now, many are holding their breath.

Zakheim to Booz Allen

Former DOD comptroller Dov Zakheim has joined defense consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. in McLean, Va., as a vice president, according to company officials.

Zakheim had led DOD's march toward fiscal accountability, a journey that is still several years from completion. Although the department is supposed to have clean books by 2007, Zakheim has expressed doubts about whether that goal is realistic.

"We have improved financial statements, and we've created a much more credible approach to financial management," he said in an April 19 statement.

Zakheim, who joined DOD in May 2001, left in April 2004. His nominated replacement, Tina Jonas, has not been confirmed by the Senate. By all accounts, she has her work cut out for her.

Armed with their ledgers and slide rules

Speak softly and carry a copy of the Federal Acquisition Regulation, or something to that effect.

Last week Pentagon officials opened an exhibit, essentially a civilian hall of fame, paying tribute to the tens of thousands of civilians who have supported military endeavors during the past 200 years. The exhibit also highlights technological advances furthered by DOD's civilian employees, including the Global Positioning System and advances in supersonic turbines.

Nine civilians were named Exemplars of Civilian Service for duties they performed that date back to the 1820s.

The new exhibit will permanently reside in the halls of the Pentagon alongside other displays honoring DOD secretaries, generals and soldiers.

Air Force reorg

The Air Force's Headquarters Electronic Systems Center may reorganize into four wings by October. They are:

  • Command, control, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.
  • Battle management systems.
  • Operational support.
  • Network-centric operations.

The operational support wing would provide information technology capabilities to commanders and warfighters at all Air Force levels, said Brig. Gen. Ed Mahan, the center's deputy for acquisition at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass.

The reorganization is part of the Air Force's effort to reject the notion that the service should be run like a business and instead run it like a military organization, Mahan said. What a concept.

New experimentation chief

Maj. Gen. John Wood will become the military's top experimentation chief later this year.

Wood, commander of the 2nd Infantry Division on the Korean peninsula, will become director for joint experimentation at Joint Forces Command in Norfolk, Va. Elements of Wood's 2nd Infantry have recently been told they will be pulled off the demilitarized zone in South Korea and stationed in various locations in Iraq.

Out of the frying pan...

Value-added individuals

Two IT personnel and an organization received accolades earlier this month in DOD's annual Value Engineering Achievement Awards. The honors recognize actions that reduce costs, increase quality and improve processes.

The awardees include:

  • Charles Cebula, value engineering program manager in the Army's Program Executive Office for Command, Control and Communications-Tactical (PEO-C3T) at Fort Monmouth, N.J. (individual award).
  • Brig. Gen. Mike Mazzucchi, program executive officer for PEO-C3T (special award).
  • The Air Force's Battle Management and Mission Planning Program Offices, Electronic Systems Center, at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass. (team award).

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