E-cruiting. The Navy plans to use information technology to improve recruiting after signing a contract worth up to $330 million with the Detroit advertising company Campbell-Ewald.

The company got the contract in part due to its 'very robust IT capability,' said Cmdr. Steve Lowry, public affairs officer for Navy recruiting. The Navy plans to use the Internet and CD-ROMs to reach recruits and will advertise the technology training the service offers, he said.

'We've got some of the cutting-edge technology in the IT field,' Lowry said. 'We'll try to use that to get some of the best and brightest of America's youth.'

Education partnership. The Gunter Annex at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., and Montgomery, Ala., have united to promote the city's IT community.

'I want to see Montgomery become known as the 'Silicon Valley of the South,'' Mayor Bobby Bright said. The program is aimed at boosting the number of workers with IT expertise in hopes of attracting high-tech companies.

Lt. Gen. Lance Lord, commander of the Air University at Gunter Annex, said the program will include seminars to introduce the general public to such topics as computer applications and the Internet, and to promote IT education at neighboring schools and universities.

Morale booster. Dormitory residents at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., can unwind online thanks to a new cybercafe that gives them free Internet access.

Cox Communications Inc. of Atlanta, the local cable provider, is supplying a year of free Internet service, saving the base $4,300, according to Master Sgt. Carlos Ruiz, project manager for the 55th Services Squadron.

Each computer will run Microsoft Office and Cyber Patrol from SurfControl of Scotts Valley, Calif., to block access to inappropriate Web sites, Ruiz said.

Improvement needed. A Marine Corps test of wireless Internet communications last month revealed that the technology still needs some work.

Using notebook PCs with global positioning system devices connected to the Internet, about 400 Marines tested the technology as part of the Millennium Dragon experiment in Gulfport, Miss.

Vehicles scattered around the area had to deal with tropical temperatures, swarms of mating bugs and severe thunderstorms as they communicated with the Experimental Combat Communications Center to coordinate movements in a simulated sea landing.

The technology needs work before it is ready to be used in combat, said 1st Lt. Neal V. Fisher, commander of one of the batteries. Another test is scheduled for Camp Pendleton, Calif., in June.

'Matthew McLaughlin


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