Army C4 management is under new command

The Army last month consolidated all its network operations under a single command.

The Network Enterprise Technology'9th Army Signal Command in Fort Huachuca, Ariz., is part of the Army's broader plan to transform the way it does business. The service wants to centralize installation management by consolidating its IT infrastructure'command, control, communications and computer assets.

NETCOM began operating on Oct. 1 under the command of Major Gen. James C. Hylton. Hylton had been commander of the Army Signal Command, which was merged into NETCOM.

Whole ball of wax

'We will be working at the enterprise level delivering an enterprise network environment that is reliable, protected and responsive to our warfighting responsibilities,' Hylton said of the new command.

NETCOM will operate and manage all active-duty Army C4 networks, including the Army Knowledge Online (AKO) portal.

This is a big task'the Army has hundreds of bases and installations throughout the United States, said Major Gen. John Scott, the Army's chief integration officer. By establishing NETCOM, the Army is managing its IT installations centrally rather than having individual installations manage themselves, he said.

'When you do things like this on a large scale, you're obviously going to come up with efficiencies in dollars and ways to operate,' Scott said. 'Obviously, what we're trying to do is tie in the Army in Afghanistan into the Army on the continental United States, so that you can communicate from the front lines all the way to the end.'

To accomplish this, the Army determined that its networks should be run as an enterprise, said Lt. Gen. Peter Cuviello, the service's CIO.

'This was the means to bring it together,' Cuviello explained. 'All the Army networks will now migrate under the watchful eye of NETCOM.'

The Army's major command networks, as well as Reserve and National Guard systems, are now managed by IT specialists in NETCOM's Enterprise Systems Technology Activity.

More than a million

The group will oversee the AKO portal, handle spectrum management and secure Army networks, Hylton said.

There are 1.1 million Army personnel using AKO, including active-duty, Reserve, civilian and National Guard members, Cuviello said. Once the Army signs up another 500,000 employees, everyone will be signed on, he said.

The move to a single structure will help the Army synchronize the components of its IT infrastructure, officials said.

It's crucial to anticipate network problems in order to keep providing service while solving the problem without users knowing there was a problem, Hylton said. 'But you can only do that if you have situational awareness and the ability to take all of that information in.'

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