Gilligan's next voyage

Air Force officials' announcement last week of plans to replace three technology offices, including the Office of the Chief Information Officer, with one led by a lieutenant general means John Gilligan is on his way out as the service's CIO.

Although Homeland Security Department CIO Steve Cooper has said he is staying at that post, buzz is ongoing that DHS officials have all but offered that job to Gilligan when Cooper leaves.

For his part, Gilligan said he has had no discussion about the post with DHS officials.

He did say he would consider the department's CIO job if it is offered to him. His other options include taking a job in industry or pursuing the deputy director position at the new Directorate of Networks and Warfighting Integration.

Gilligan ended his speech last week at AFCEA International's Air Force Information Technology Day by talking about how DHS officials should use and expand the military's evolving network-centric operations.

"I see homeland security as our next big challenge," Gilligan said.

He said we should not read into how he concluded his presentation. But we know he likes challenges. Remember when he took the CIO post at the Energy Department in the late 1990s to improve the department's information assurance after the Wen Ho Lee scandal? In the scandal, the nuclear scientist was accused of mishandling classified information.

Connelly sighting

Former Air Force Web portal chief Norris Connelly reappeared at the AFCEA Air Force IT Day, this time sporting the title of Air Force business development program manager at SRA International.

The retired colonel and Federal 100 award winner said he will set up an Air Force business unit at SRA. Norris said he will take the company's systems integration and IT architecture expertise and weave them together to pursue work opportunities in the service.

Fourth-quarter champ

CDW Government officials will likely announce this week that they will deliver more than 35,000 desktop and laptop computers as part of the Air Force's final computer purchase for fiscal 2004.

The deal worth more than $38 million, means the large reseller got all the service's business during the fourth-quarter purchase except for lightweight notebooks computers.

Three-letter attitude

We hear commercial mapmakers and the country's librarians will mount a fierce public relations campaign to keep the military's flight and sea navigational planning documents from disappearing into the military's black hole.

Last month, officials at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency announced they want to remove the documents from public sale and distribution — without seeking public comment — because of copyright and terrorism concerns. Last week, however, they said they would seek public comment on the initiative through June.

Who said librarians are the quiet type?

Paper security

Army officials took a unique step last month to show that they mean business when it comes to computer security.

They published a brochure titled "Fight the Network: The Network as a Weapon System" sprinkled with comments from Defense Department Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Gen. Peter Schoomaker, Army chief of staff, on the importance of protecting the network.

Perhaps the two-page glossy, coupled with most of the service's employees changing their password from "Redskins," will keep the Chinese on their toes.

Wi-Fi, hooah!

Army officials hope to complete a program by February 2005 to makes the service's Global System for Mobile Communications phones and Research in Motion BlackBerries work better on U.S. bases.

We hear the Wireless Coverage Enhancement Initiative aims to improve the wireless coverage at 44 Army installations and streamline the process of installing cell phone towers and antennas.

E-forms coming

Army officials will likely announce this week — but we've been hearing this for weeks now — that they will award a multiyear contract to PureEdge Solutions to update the service's inventory of more than 100,000 e-forms.

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