Langston plans $1b IT initiative

DOD maintains a Cold War-era management structure that is resistant to change, lacks
reliable databases and has failed to build an information technology infrastructure to
support systems it needs, said Paul Brubaker, principal director in the office of CIO
Marvin Langston. He spoke last week at the Air Force’s Software Technology
Conference.


The budget initiative would fund development of innovative programs to speed up
modernization of warfighting systems, he said.


Calling DOD’s management of IT dysfunctional, Brubaker said he and Langston would
urge the Joint Chiefs of Staff to support the proposal and take responsibility for
development of a digital nervous system for DOD.


The department’s commanders in chief, he said, “need better control over the
design and development of systems” that support troops in action.


Problems such as DOD’s slow adoption of encryption and its difficulty in assessing
reserve strength during the Kosovo crisis indicate military systems development is
inadequate, Brubaker said.


Within six weeks, Langston’s office will release draft guidelines for the Global
Network Information Enterprise—the outline for DOD’s so-called nervous system,
Brubaker said.


Through GNIE, the department will try to set standards and rules covering everything
from architecture to outsourcing, he said.


GNIE will build on the Defense Information Infrastructure and Common Operating
Environment efforts at the Defense Information Systems Agency, Brubaker said.


“We haven’t abandoned the DII COE,” he said. The overarching GNIE is
required for DOD to realize long-term plans for warfighting systems.


Brubaker worked on Cohen’s staff when Cohen was the Republican senator from Maine
and helped draft the IT Management Reform Act. When Cohen left the Senate, Brubaker worked
in industry before returning to government in January. 


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