Defense Department Briefs
Budgets may be tight, but Air Force Capt. Scott O'Grady does great PR. That appears to
be the logic behind an eye-popping $187 million addition to the Defense Department's
command, control, communications and computers budget to buy 27,000 "improved"
combat search and rescue radios starting in 1998.
The radio unit O'Grady used after his plane was shot down in Bosnia last year was
celebrated and written up in hundreds of mainstream media reports following his
rescue--but apparently it didn't work quite well enough.
Losing sleep over the year 2000 date-change problem in your computers' date fields?
Since last November, when Emmett Paige Jr., assistant secretary of Defense for command,
control, communications and intelligence, ordered the services and agencies to get on the
ball about recoding DOD systems, World Wide Web sites on the topic have been sprouting
Want some pointers? Check out the home pages set up by Air Force at http://infosphere.safb.af.mil/~jwid/fadl/fad.htm,
the Army at http://iiacsun1.army.mil
and the Navy at http://www.nismc.navy.mil/horizon/year2000/year2000.htm.
For links to companies touting their expertise in fixing the problem, try http://www.year2000.com/cgi-bin/clock.cgi.
The Army's Information Systems Engineering Command at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., last month
cut the ribbon at a new, 42,000-square foot facility for testing and certifying commercial
off-the-shelf hardware and software.
Known as the Technology Integration Center, the $4.2 million shop is expected to
relieve the backlog of testing requirements in the Army and provide processing support to
Sustaining Base Information Systems applications. The TIC, which has 65 permanent military
and civilian employees, will be linked over high-speed networks to other Army facilities,
including the Digital Integrated Labs at Fort Monmouth, N.J.
Systems acquisition officials who feel they're losing leverage with industry heard an
explanation of sorts from Steve Rossetti, a professional staffer on the House National
Security Committee, at a recent industry conference.
According to Rossetti, DOD bought 60 percent of the entire computer industry's output
when the Brooks Act was signed in 1965. The figure today? Just 3.5 percent.
Tivoli Systems Inc. in Austin, Texas, has recently sold licenses of its Tivoli
Management Environment products to the Air Force for the global Theater Battle Management
Core Systems and to the Defense Information Systems Agency for the Global Command and
Control System. Tivoli is on a roll in the commercial world as well: IBM Corp. recently
decided it was better off owning the Texan company than competing against it.