Therapy for Boeing

The Interceptors remember Boeing's halcyon days.

In 2001, the company won an $856 million contract to develop the military's Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) Cluster 1. The following year, Boeing, along with Science Applications International Corp., won a $156 million deal to help build the Army's Future Combat Systems (FCS).

With those wins, Boeing officials were feeling really good. A spokeswoman no longer with the company regularly chided reporters — including Interceptor East — on how Boeing was the lead systems integrator for FCS, not a prime contractor. We still want to know the difference.

Ironic how Boeing's biorhythms have changed. First Boeing is accused of stealing satellite secrets from Lockheed Martin. Then Boeing gets busted for promising a job to an Air Force contracting official in exchange for favors on a $20 billion aircraft tanker deal. After that, the company's 70-year-old chief executive officer, who was brought in to clean up the scandals, gets forced out because of an affair with a female employee.

Next Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), still seething over the Pentagon's refusal to turn over documents related to the ill-fated tanker deal, picks a fight with the Army over, of all things, the contracting vehicle for FCS and gets the service to change it. The result is even more bad publicity for Boeing. Now comes word Defense Department officials put the company on notice last week that it has 30 days to suggest changes to the JTRS program or forfeit the contract.

Ah, those biorhythms.

Army PM woes

Boeing should not get all the blame for the schedule delays and cost increases for JTRS and FCS. The Interceptors are picking up signals from our listening posts that the Army has notperfected program management.

Perhaps that's why DOD officials put a sailor in charge of JTRS last week. Dennis Bauman, program executive officer for command, control, communications and intelligence and space at the Navy's Space and Naval Warfare Center, now heads a new program executive office for JTRS with oversight of the program.

We hear Bauman asked his buddy Paul Schneider, the Navy's ex-research, development acquisition official and former procurement chief at the National Security Agency, to visit military and industry officials working on Jitters to gain an understanding of the program. Schneider is supposed to turn in a report by late May or early June.

422 days and counting ...

Members of Congress must have found time between the filibusters on President Bush's judicial nominees to sign off on the Air Force's new information technology organization.

The Interceptors hear that Lt. Gen. William "Tom" Hobbins, the Air Force's deputy chief of staff for warfighting integration, will discuss the IT reorganization May 10.

The new Office of the Secretary of the Air Force for Warfighting Integration and Chief Information Officer (SAF/XC) sounds similar to the organization now run by Hobbins, the man who said candidly last December that he wants to head the new office. All the signals we're picking up say Hobbins will get the job.

We coaxed officials in the Air Force's chief information officer and public affairs offices to admit that John Gilligan, the service's CIO, will leave his job in May as it gets sucked into the SAF/XC. He can't head the new office because he doesn't wear stars on his shoulders.

Gilligan has told us that he likely will take a job in industry after the office changes. But there's a job open in government that might make a good fit — and it's not CIO at the Homeland Security Department.

The DOD CIO position has been vacant for the past 422 days since John Stenbit retired, saying he wanted to spend more time with his grandchildren.

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