Intercepts

Get the Lead Out

The Navy Marine Corps Intranet so far provides only TCP/IP with no Internet connectivity to the research, development, testing and evaluation community. But help is on the way, said Mary Hartley, a spokeswoman for lead vendor Electronic Data Systems Corp. The issues, said one Naval Air Warfare Center employee, include connecting sites across the country via T-1/T-3 links with multiprotocol operations, which require high-speed connection to the Internet, and using a conglomeration of platforms.

EDS' plan to provide only TCP/IP for now went over "like a lead balloon in the [research, development, testing and evaluation] community," said David Allen, the naval worker. "Connectivity and Internet access will be provided as required by the claimants. The [Navy] and the Information Strike Force have established a joint RDT&E working group to address these issues and they will be resolved in the near term," Hartley said. Lesson learned: Lead balloons just don't fly.

Who's Leading Here?

The Interceptor's mobile receiving station parked outside the Fort Monmouth, N.J., front gate picked up weak signals that two competitors for the Army's Communications-Electronics Command Software Support contract are dancing to a tune of their own. The contract requires supporting the command's Software Engineering Center, which provides systems and software engineering support for Army program executive officers and others.

One team has Telos Corp. as prime contractor and L-3 Communications ILEX Systems Inc. as subcontractor and the second has ILEX as prime contractor and Telos as the subcontractor. They had earlier formed a joint venture, called ITEL Solutions, to bid on the contract, but the rumor is that they will bid jointly as two teams.

It takes two to tango, yet only one can lead.

PowerTrack Power

Use of PowerTrack automated software for managing freight shipment payments is soaring, say officials with the Military Traffic Management Command. Use of cumbersome shipping documents known as Government Bills of Lading has plummeted from 65,000 to 2,000. Some 479 carriers are now eligible to receive PowerTrack payments, and more than $335 million in freight charges have been paid. Eighty-five percent of payments were made in three days, a process that took two or three months via the manual payment process of the Defense Finance and Accounting Service. Although officials are obviously proud of PowerTrack, its soaring usage is no surprise. That's what happens when you mandate that a specific system be used.

Dressed to Thrill

Okay, so this item has no IT angle, but when Army soldiers take part in a New York fashion show, somebody has to poke fun. An article on the Army Web site boasts that soldiers from forts Totten and Hamilton, N.Y., dressed NBC's studio runway in camouflage netting for a segment of the March 16 "Today" show.

"Models marched down the runway with a new fashion edge that ran from razor-sharp punk styles to straight-laced military-inspired looks," the article states. "Military mania ranges from strict to subtle interpretations in shirtdresses, suits, pants and skirts with the most prominent print being camouflage."

Judy Gordon, creator of TrendReport.com, said that camouflage "is ubiquitous in its original olive, khaki and brown combination and is available in all silhouettes as well as handbags and shoes. The print also comes in lively color combinations, such as orange, olive and black, blue, white and black or red, white and gray. Some inventive designers even reinterpreted the classic colors in the form of floral or leopard prints."

So, which headgear do the bony models prefer — black or tan berets?

Intercept something? Send it to antenna@fcw.com.

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