LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR




Editorial Cartoon


Hooah to services' IT upgrade

The Army secretary and chief of staff recently recognized the Dell Computer Corp. team for helping the Pentagon restore its IT infrastructure damaged in the Sept. 11 attacks. For all of us at Dell, it is a great honor to support U.S. armed forces.

But it's also important to recognize the services for the creative ways they use technology.
Through groundbreaking information networks, the military is connecting the troops and making the deployment and management of forces, materials and weapons easier and more efficient than it was only a few years ago.

In modernizing their IT networks, the armed forces consistently set the global standard. The Navy-Marine Corps Intranet project brings together 200 networks into one streamlined and secure intranet, which will eventually connect more than 360,000 people around the world, from headquarters offices to the front lines of national defense.

Through NMCI, the Navy and Marine Corps are building a flexible, responsive information utility. Instead of making a large, up-front investment to accommodate all of the eventual network users, they are building the network and scaling their investment as their needs grow. NMCI is a blueprint for IT modernization across the federal government and private sector.

These modernization projects are important to the military and to all Americans because they let the armed services redeploy resources back to the business of defending the country.

The Army Knowledge Online initiative connects personnel from the Army's 300 installations around the world through a portal. The Air Force's primary warfighting organization, the Air Combat Command, connects more than 100,000 military and civilian personnel onto a common network with instant access to mission-critical information and advanced worldwide communications.

Beyond providing cost savings and efficiencies, these systems improve the quality of life of the troops by connecting them to each other and to their families back home. Many members of the military spent the holiday season away from home, often in remote and dangerous regions.

Network technologies, such as e-mail and Web cameras, helped close that distance and provided some peace of mind for the men and women in uniform and their families. Thanks to the Defense Department's efforts in building strong networks, communication between the troops and their families is faster and easier than ever before.

During the coming months and years, the services will continue their efforts to consolidate IT networks. One day, all branches of the military will have highly secure and reliable networks connecting millions of people'military personnel, civilians and their families.

MICHAEL DELL

Chairman and chief executive officer

Dell Computer Corp.

Round Rock, Texas

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ACRONYM WATCH

CDN Content Delivery Networks: Broadband networks inside an enterprise's firewall that can be used to deliver electronic learning and streaming media services. To function as CDNs, enterprise networks may require storage enhancements, as well as modifications to support voice and audiovisual feeds and intelligent routing.

SARA Services Acquisition Reform Act: Proposed by Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.), chairman of the House Government Reform Subcommittee on Technology and Procurement Policy, the bill's goal [IMGCAP(1)]is to streamline acquisitions. It would make it easier for agencies to contract for services under the Federal Acquisition Regulation. It would increase the use of performance-based contracting and exempt IT products from the Buy American Act and the Trade Agreements Act.

TARFU Things Are Really Fouled Up: Contrast FUBAR'Fouled Up Beyond All Recognition'which is worse, and SNAFU'Situation Normal, All Fouled Up'which is not as bad.

WEP2 Wired Equivalent Privacy 2: A protocol project by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers to increase the security of wireless LANs. Some critics contend WEP's security flaws are so fundamental that IEEE should start from scratch. WEP2 reportedly will incorporate features of the Advanced Encryption Standard.

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