From MilCom 2004: DISA plans shift to net-centric C2 system

Diann McCoy

Linton Wells

MONTEREY, Calif.'The Defense Information Systems Agency is winding down its use of the Global Command and Control System as it moves to an architecture that will give the Defense Department broader hosting capability.

GCCS, Defense's joint battlefield C2 system, will eventually be integrated into the larger planned Joint Command and Control system. JC2 will use Web services to provide 'the transformation path for joint command and control capability ... to a network-centric operating environment,' said Diann L. McCoy, DISA's component acquisition executive.

DISA is creating a technology development strategy and a test and evaluation strategy for JC2, and considering the types of services the system will run, McCoy said this month at the Military Communications Conference 2004.

DISA will roll out an initial version of JC2 in 2006.

McCoy said the joint system is part of DISA's plan to focus on interoperable, net-centric operations.

'We have to deconstruct the existing systems and reconstruct them. That's the journey to achieving net-centricity,' McCoy said, stressing that this IT overhaul would be a greater challenge than preparing systems for the year 2000 rollover.

DISA tests enterprise services

The agency has tested four of the nine core services to be offered in the Net-Centric Enterprise Services initiative.

Debra Filippi, principal director for the DISA program, said the NCES office is briefing the U.S. Strategic Command and the Joint Forces Command on the lessons learned from preliminary tests conducted last month on mediation, messaging, security and discovery.
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NCES is the core common denominator everyone is going to use, Filippi said during a DISA panel discussion at MilCom. NCES is now in the technology demonstration phase and is expected to be fully operational by fiscal 2008.

The nine core services, which also include enterprise service management, collaboration, user assistant, storage and application, will be used by all the services and for Defense-wide functions. The NCES initiative will integrate a common set of information services over the Global Information Grid.

DOD targets young IT workers

Defense is struggling to attract 'the high-tech, under-30, Generation Y crowd,' acting CIO Linton Wells said during a keynote address at MilCom.

DOD is grappling with how to attract and retain IT professionals given that more than 50 percent of its civilian workforce will retire within the next five years, said Wells, who is also acting assistant secretary of Defense for network and information integration.

'For people under 30, being connected is an inherent part of their lifestyles,' he said. 'When we bring them into the government environment, we tell them to put their cell phone over here, their PDA there, and that's likely to be a fundamental turnoff. We have to figure out how to attract them.'

General: Future of war up in air

Space has become one of the most powerful weapons in warfare, Air Force Gen. Lance W. Lord told conference attendees.

The success of future wars will be dependent on space systems, said the commander of the Air Force Space Command at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo.

The importance of space systems has evolved during the past 50 years following initial efforts to monitor the Soviet Union during the Cold War, Lord said.

'You can't do anything these days without a space connection,' he said. 'If you're not in space, you're not in the race.'

For the Iraq operations, the military has exploited space-based warning, weather and military satellite communications, Lord said.

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