DOD Brief

Lt. Gen. John S. Fairfield, Air Force deputy chief of staff for communications and
information, thinks the security and authentication features of the Defense Message System
won't be necessary for all users, all of the time.


"We are mandating x.400 [and DMS security features] for official messaging,"
Fairfield recently told GCN, "but we are waiting to see if a certain percentage of
unclassified traffic could remain on SMTP [Simple Message Transfer Protocol]. The Defense
Department is willing to shift if we see that the majority of traffic doesn't need to be
that rigidly controlled."


Judging from the systems development programs that have stopped working since Emmett
Paige Jr. ordered them stopped, and ensuring a strategy is provided for ensuring their
systems can handle dates after Dec. 31, 1999, DOD has the year 2000 date-code glitch in
the bag. The memo from the assistant secretary of defense for command, control,
communications and intelligence was intended to halt any further activity on contracts or
programs that have not specifically addressed a solution to the problem.


"I intend to enforce that memo," Paige said at a conference in Washington
early this month. "There is no reason that we should be buying anything today that is
not compliant." He did not explain what would happen to programs that fail to report
about how they will convert their systems to process date data in 2000 and beyond.


According to Lt. Gen. Otto Guenther, the Army's director of information systems for
command, control, communications and computers, DOD will release a final version of the
Joint Technical Architecture within "the next few weeks."


Army officials tend to swell up when the JTA is mentioned, because the Navy and Air
Force agreed to use the Army document as a baseline for their joint architecture
blueprints. Military systems engineers hope the JTA, in tandem with the Common Operating
Environment, will make cross-service interoperability snags a thing of the past.


In yet another attempt to find the perfect formula for licensing commercial software,
the Defense Information Systems Agency has turned to the Integrated Computer-Assisted
Software Engineering contract held by Logicon Inc. of Torrance, Calif.


In an internal May 20 memo, Lt. Gen. Al Edmonds, DISA's director, told employees that
under the restructured I-CASE contract, DOD "will be able to purchase
custom-configured enterprise licenses designed to meet their specific requirements for all
software products."


Edmonds also said I-CASE will become the vehicle of choice for licenses for commercial
components for the Common Operating Environment.


The Logistics and Readiness Center at the Army's Communications-Electronics Command,
Fort Monmouth, N.J., garnered the coveted President's Quality Improvement Prototype award
for 1996. The center beat out 30 organizations and 10 finalists.


CECOM's commander, Maj. Gen. Gerard P. Brohm, accepted the prize at the Washington
Hilton and Towers at an awards ceremony earlier this month.



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