Navy Hot for DISA
Maneuvering has begun over which branch of the military services will
take over leadership of DISA, and the Navy is ready to lobby heavily for
the slot that Army Lt. Gen. Dave Kelley will vacate this summer. The Navy
wants the DISA slot to protect its plans to take some Navy/Marine Corps
Intranet traffic off DISN. Sources say the Navy will nominate Adm. Dick
Mayo, currently the service's space and information warfare honcho.
The Air Force plans to offer up one of the many generals it has at Spacecom
for the slot, but the Army will make only a token nomination of a Signal
Command general because the Army's chances for another shot at the DISA
job are slim.
Outsource Almost Everything?
That's the message delivered by Navy undersecretary John Hultin, who
said the Navy needs to focus on its "core competencies and outsource the
rest." Hultin, speaking at the AFCEA/Navy League West 2000 conference this
month, said the Navy should issue a "hunting license to industry and ask
vendors what part of the Navy they could run." If the Navy does outsource
shipboard food service, I certainly hope it passes on the recipe for "sliders,"
a Navy-unique hamburger whose primary component seems to be grease.
The Cultural Gap
Army Chief of Staff Eric Shinseki experienced firsthand the "cultural
gap" between the military and the rest of society. At a recent meeting in
New York, he had a feeling he was not "connecting" during a 20-minute conversation
with another attendee. That fact was confirmed when his conversational partner
remarked, "Good to have you Marines on board." Shinseki said from now on
he plans to introduce himself — as he did at last week's Association of
the United States Army convention in Fort Lauderdale — with the phrase,
"My name is Shinseki, and I'm a soldier." Maybe it's time for the Marines
to bring back the brown shoes.
Hacker Good News
Michael Vatis, director of the FBI-managed National Infrastructure Protection
Center, saw a silver lining in the massive denial-of-service attacks against
e-commerce Web sites last week. The widespread economic effects of the attacks,
Vatis said at West 2000, should "finally motivate the private sector towards
computer security." This, Vatis added, makes more sense than launching a
heavy counterattack when the target of such fire is "a couple of teenagers."
A Bridge Too Far
This is the first year AUSA has held its winter convention in Fort Lauderdale,
Fla., (after many years in Orlando), and a few glitches marred the opening
of the convention, including construction of drawbridges over the Intracoastal
Waterway separating the hotels on the beach from the Broward County Convention
AUSA president Gordon Sullivan — a former Army chief of staff — urged
convention-goers to get some perspective, noting, "I think we can handle
the bridge in 82-degree weather."
Convention-going sure is hell.
NEXT STORY: Navigation warfare heats up