Decentralize it. The Defense Department should rethink its approach to long-haul communications services, said Dan Porter, the Navy's chief information officer.

Now the Defense Information Systems Agency oversees and manages these services through the Defense Information Systems Network. But Porter said DOD should outsource its long-haul voice, video and data communications. It's a subject he's close to because the Navy wants to do just that with the Navy-Marine Corps Intranet.

He described DISN as a monopoly and said requiring DOD organizations to use it is a mistake. 'Monopolies don't work in the private sector, so why should they work in the government?' Porter said.

Reorganize it. The Air Force's recent decision to create a systems czar has the service's managers figuring out who will be responsible for what.

The service recently decided to create the position of the deputy assistant secretary for business and information systems management [GCN, July 3, Page 45]. How will that affect the work of the Air Force Communications and Information Center and the service's deputy CIO, Lt. Gen. John 'Jack' Woodward?

'Those relationships are being worked out,' said Brig. Gen. Gary A. Ambrose, the Air Force's assistant director of Communications and Information, who will retire this month.

Pin it on. Although the Army recently promoted Steven W. Boutelle from brigadier general to major general, he will not change jobs.

Boutelle will stay on as program executive officer for command, control and communication systems. This is a critical year for his programs, particularly as the 4th Infantry Division at Fort Hood, Texas, gears up to begin final tests of digital battlefield systems.

The promotion makes sense, said Col. Robert Raiford, the Army's Defense Message System program manager at Fort Monmouth, N.J., because Boutelle's post is a job for a two-star general.

Proved it. Earlier this year, the Marine Corps Combat Development Command received approval from Corps management to deploy a 15-year, $250 million distance-learning program.

MarineNet, run by the Testing and Evaluation Division's Distance Learning Branch, now will move beyond the proof-in-concept phase. Lt. Col. George S. Whitbeck, deputy of the Distance Learning Branch at Quantico, Va., said the Corps is setting up distance-learning classrooms at 30 bases.

When fully operational in 2005, the system will provide 126 courses, Whitbeck said.

'Bill Murray

E-mail: [email protected]


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