Defense sharpens focus on integration

The war on terrorism and a push to transform the Defense Department into a more unified organization are driving the research and development directorate of the DOD to begin thinking more in terms of integrating systems and gadgets in the initial phase of development and to roll these technologies out faster to support war efforts.

'It is adding real value to the battlefield,' explained Ronald Sega, director of research and engineering and Defense undersecretary for acquisition, logistics and technology.

Sega spoke in Washington yesterday during a briefing sponsored by Defense Week magazine.

The new focus of his division, Sega said, is to 'look at what we do as an integrated approach (and to) collaborate with other agencies in the federal government.'

Sega said the Combating Terrorism Technology Task Force was established Sept. 19, 2001, as a way for technology vendors to submit their best technologies'or ones they could develop quickly'to assist warfighters in Operation Enduring Freedom and with homeland security. The task force is made up of personnel from each of the services, the Joint Staff, IT vendors and colleges and universities.

Two days after the task force was formed, members began sifting through more than 200 technologies, Sega said. They opted to accelerate the development of three and rushed them through production in 90 days, Sega added.

The task force is currently looking at communications technologies, bringing IT systems together in a fused way, Sega said.

'The challenge is to continue to push the front line with more options that would be available for the warfighter,' Sega said.

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