DOD News Briefs

Army Brig. Gen. Frederick H. Essig, commander of Defense Information Systems Agency for
the western hemisphere, retired Oct. 31.

As WESTHEM commander, Essig inherited the unenviable task of implementing the Base
Realignment and Closure Commission's 1993 mandate to consolidate 59 Defense Department
data centers into the current 16 megacenters. He is credited with accelerating the
consolidation schedule by nearly two years. DISA has not named a successor.

The Army recently retired the service's oldest functioning telephone switch, a 1942
electromechanical mammoth that took up 5,000 square feet at Fort Dix, N.J.

The service replaced the antiquated switch with an Integrated Services Digital
Network-capable switch that will handle up to 5,500 lines and take up a tenth as much

IBM Corp. decided to pull out of the competition for the Switched Bandwidth Management
portion of the Defense Information Systems Network procurement.

Why? According to industry sources, IBM would have needed to tap a major
telecommunications company as a subcontractor to handle the voice switching requirements
for the Defense Information Systems Agency's next- generation global network program.

AT&T Corp., MCI Corp. and Sprint Corp.--which are pursuing the bandwidth management
contract-- apparently declined IBM's overtures. The computer maker concluded that buying
and installing the voice switches would push it out of competitive range, sources said.
Proposals for the bandwidth contract are due Nov. 30.

The Defense Information Technology Contracting Office has released a request for
information on imaging systems capable of hard copy-to-digital, analog-to-digital and
digital-to-digital conversions of contracting documents. The systems would be used by
approximately 400 DITCO employees to scan, convert, store and retrieve documents for some
90,000 contracts per year.

The Army will make extensive use of multimedia technologies by the year 2000, predicts
a new report by the National Research Council, Commercial Multimedia Technologies for
Twenty-First Century Army Battlefields

The Army commissioned the study, which urges investment in mobile communications,
sensor data processing, information filters, simulation and data security. To get a copy
of the NRC report, call 800-624-6242.

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