Defense will cancel some exercises in favor of year 2000 simulations

BEDFORD, Mass.—The commanders in chief of the Defense Department’s nine
unified commands and the Joint Chiefs of Staff will cancel some operational exercises
slated for next year and instead will conduct year 2000 simulations and evaluations.


The year 2000 simulations, which Congress demanded in the fiscal 1999 Defense
appropriations bill, will delay training plans but must be done, said Army Col. Marilyn
Quagliotti, vice director of the Joint Staff’s Command, Control, Communications and
Computers Systems Directorate.


“In many cases, there is not enough funding to conduct additional exercises, nor
is there enough time,” Quagliotti said last week at the Military Communications
’98 conference.


After identifying the critical missions, the CINCs will plan year 2000 operational
evaluations and simulations, Quagliotti said.


Congress in its fiscal 1999 Defense appropriations bill directed DOD to conduct at
least 25 year 2000 simulations as part of military exercises between Jan. 1 and Sept. 30.
By Dec. 15, Defense Secretary William Cohen must submit to Congress a plan for conducting
the simulations.


“When we get into execution of the operational evaluations, there will be some
failures,” Quagliotti said. “We may have to go back and either develop a
contingency plan for that system or do a re-evaluation of that particular system if it is
totally mission-critical.”


The operational evaluations will not be easy, Quagliotti said. The Global Command and
Control System, for instance, has 22 interfaces with other systems, which makes the job of
evaluating GCCS extremely complex, she said.


The Joint Staff is instructing the CINCs on how to organize their operational
evaluations; Quagliotti’s group has developed a template for organizing the
evaluations and disseminating it to the CINCs.


Managers who will conduct the evaluations are being trained at the Joint Battle Center
in Norfolk, Va. The training is tailored to the configuration management, databases and
missions of each CINC, she said. “We cannot just do isolated evaluations,”
Quagliotti said. “They have to be done in the theater with focus on the missions that
the CINCs perform.” 

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