DISA budgets $205.2 million for NCES over three years

The Defense Information Systems Agency has budgeted more than $200 million for its Net-Centric Enterprise Services (NCES) program over the next three years, with more than half of the spending planned for fiscal 2009.

DISA said it plans to use NCES to build interfaces between incompatible systems and networks across the Defense Department. The initiative will use metadata tagging, Web discovery, search and collaboration tools to make data visible to a wide range of DOD users.

The agency has budgeted $143.9 million for NCES operations and maintenance over the next three years, including $86.9 million in fiscal 2009. The procurement budget over the same period is $60.4 million, with $28.9 million already budgeted for the 2007 fiscal year and planned spending of $10.8 million in 2008 and $20.7 million in 2009.

DISA awarded its first NCES collaboration tool contract, valued at $17 million, to IBM in July 2006 and plans to award a second contract this June.

The IBM NCES collaboration tool offering is built around the company’s Lotus Sametime software suite, which includes instant messaging, Web conferencing, white board tools, application sharing, broadcasting, chat, and audio and video capabilities.

Other communications programs figure large in the three-year spending plan.

The agency has budgeted $269.4 million in operations and maintenance for the Defense Information Systems Network (DISN), which provides global connectivity for the Defense Department. This funding will help support anytime, anywhere communications with an emphasis on “power to the edge” systems to support deployed units, according to the plan.

To support this effort to push communications to the tactical edge, DISA plans $24.1 million in operations and maintenance funding over the next three years to beef up its satellite teleports with systems capable of operating with a wide range of military and commercial satellites and connecting them to the terrestrial Global Information Grid.

DISA plans to fund its Defense Spectrum Organization (DSO) with a proposed $113.2 million operations and maintenance budget over the next three years. This funding will help DOD manage increasingly value radio communications spectrum used by tactical as well as satellite radio systems.

A key mission for the DSO this year, the DISA budget said, is preparing for the World Radio Conference this fall. The event will determine global spectrum allocations for emerging mobile wireless technologies and high-frequency radio spectrum used by DOD tactical units.

The DISN funding supports key elements of a 10-year evolutionary timeline that includes pushing voice, data and video Internet Protocol-based services to the tactical edge. It also budgets for increased contractor support and maintenance activities, primarily in satellite communications.

The DSO operations and maintenance budget peaks at $51 million in this year and then declines to a planned $29.6 million in fiscal 2008 and edges up to $32.6 million in fiscal 2009. DISA said the sharp decline between the 2007 and 2008 DSO budgets represents a one-time transfer of $21.7 million in 2007 for spectrum relocation activities.

The DOD fiscal 2008 research, development, test and evaluation budget requests $18.6 million operational systems development funding for the DSO Joint Spectrum Center in 2008, up $6.2 million from 2007.

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