Data-centric pilots in the works for DOD services

The Defense Department's CIO office plans to kick-start efforts to make data more universally accessible. By March, DOD officials will release an implementation guide to accompany the 2004 directive, Data Sharing in a Net-Centric Department of Defense.

Several services will launch pilots this year that, if successful, will be phased into larger programs of record.

One of those pilots is Command and Control Space Situational Awareness, led by the Air Force Space Command. The pilot will implement Web services.

One piece of information the Air Force Space Command is interested in is satellite data, said Anthony Simon, who led the Net-Centric Data Strategy and is team lead for the policy side of Defense's CIO office. 'They will look at how they can make that data more accessible to a community.'

The Maritime Domain Awareness Community of Interest, which involves DOD, the Northern Command, Navy, Coast Guard, Homeland Security Department and non-DOD law enforcement organizations, is planning another pilot. It would examine ways the organizations can share commercial maritime information to protect the nation's seaports.

Hurricane Katrina highlighted the need for multiple agencies to better share information, said Michael Todd, associate director for information management in DOD's CIO office.

In the dark

'With Katrina, you had first responders on the scene that didn't have compatible systems, and data was in different formats, so we're looking at trying to move towards a more netted environment,' he said.

The Army is looking at data sharing from two perspectives: the current force and future force.

The current fleet of tactical vehicles was not built with a common data path. The ability to achieve network-centric warfare is tougher with these systems because data standards have to be re-engineered without costing too much, said Edwards.

'We are working with those systems and their architectures. They are all legacy systems. You don't want to put too much investment in them. We have to do this smartly,' said Terry Edwards, director of enterprise architecture in the Army CIO's office.

One avenue is mediation services that can connect the fleet of legacy systems to future force systems, he added. The Army also is planning to use the Command and Control Information Exchange Data Model, the data model chosen by 22 nations.

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