IT initiatives top DOD's budget list, from security to signal data

IT initiatives top DOD's budget list, from security to signal data

By Shruti Dat'

GCN Staff

Defense Department information technology efforts will take priority in fiscal 2001, top department officials told House lawmakers this month.

Defense Secretary William S. Cohen testified that quantum advances in technology and information capabilities stand at the core of the armed forces' transformation and re-engineering.

'To modernize as wisely as possible, we must exploit the most promising emerging technologies to our best strategic and tactical advantage,' Cohen said at a House Armed Forces Committee hearing.

'Development and procurement of complex military systems takes many years, but technologies are advancing rapidly; therefore, we need to be especially farsighted in exploiting those technologies in every military realm,' he said.

Gen. Henry H. Shelton, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, outlined IT initiatives planned under the department's information operations umbrella.

'Information operations consist of actions taken to affect adversary information and information systems while defending one's own information and information systems,' Shelton said.

The proposed fiscal 2001 budget includes more than $1 billion in funding for information assurance'to counter cyberthreats and protect information systems'with a significant amount intended for public-key infrastructure initiatives, Cohen said.

Shelton said DOD will move forward with the Global Information Grid plan to provide interconnected, end-to-end information to DOD users. The Joint Forces Command is now drafting a GIG requirements document.

Defense also will embark on a Global Positioning System modernization program that will include a new military navigation signal from space to boost the performance of weapons systems that use GPS signal data.

The budget would also support the continued efforts of the department's Joint Task Force for Computer Network Defense to help protect critical Defense systems. The group's counterpart, the Joint Task Force for Civil Support, will open for business in April.

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