Army CIO to issue 500-day plan

The Army’s Office of the Chief Information Officer is about to embark on a new 500-day plan to achieve greater integration across the enterprise.

The service is scheduled to release the plan June 11, said Vern Bettencourt, Army deputy CIO, last week at a luncheon sponsored by the Northern Virginia chapter of AFCEA International.

The Army CIO office recently completed a new 500-day plan, which it originally developed in late 2005. The earlier strategy’s primary goal was to develop and maintain LandWarNet, the Army’s component of the Global Information Grid.

The next plan will seek to “institutionalize LandWarNet throughout the Army,” Bettencourt said. This will include emphasizing LandWarNet throughout the Army’s training and education efforts so that soldiers “understand what LandWarNet is doing for them.”

Another part of the Army’s goal for the new 500-day plan will be to implement a data strategy.

“We’ve got the transport layer out there,” Bettencourt said. “Now we have to concentrate on data and knowledge management.”

The goal of securing the Army’s systems and networks will include protecting data at rest.

“There have been a lot of lost government laptops,” Bettencourt said, “and if the data is not encrypted, information can be compromised.”

The Army will also reduce its 220 Internet gateways to five to better protect them, he added.

Another major component of the strategy is what Bettencourt called resourcing.

“We firmly believe our budget will be decreasing, so we are asking ourselves, ‘Are we spending money in the right places?’ ” he said.

E-learning programs such as Army Knowledge Online will be among the key venues for continued funding.

“We have over 400,000 enrolled in courses on AKO,” Bettencourt said. “Of those, 128,000 are enrolled in language courses and 32,000 in Arabic courses.”

Bettencourt also outlined on which projects the Army will be spending most its money in fiscal 2008.

The top three are:
• Future Combat Systems $2.3 billion. This also includes the Army Battle Command System Integration project at $518 million.
• Force XXI Battle Command, Brigade and Below, $233 million
• Tactical radios $225 million.

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