ID standard. All Defense Department program managers must tag new equipment with a universal identification code to track the items they buy.

Michael Wynne, acting undersecretary of Defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, announced the new policy in late July, making it mandatory for Defense officials to mark items with ID tags.

The Unique ID program will help DOD improve asset visibility and lifecycle management, as well as produce clean audit reports and assure interoperability across systems, according to the policy. The plan was designed to achieve 'a globally interoperable network-centric architecture for the integrated management of tangible items,' Wynne said in the directive.

In turn, the ability to track assets across DOD will help the department in its drive to create a business enterprise architecture, according to the policy.

Defense officials will modify Wide Area Workflow electronic forms, which DOD uses to automate business interactions with contractors, to capture the codes associated with each item, Wynne said.

The policy also establishes a board to develop cross-cutting business rules and integrated processes related to the use of the ID tags.

To read the policy online, go to

Map deal. The Army's Topographic Engineering Center has awarded a $100 million contract to Northrop Grumman Corp. to provide Army commanders with enhanced digital maps.

Under the 10-year Combat Terrain Information Systems contract, the Army center wants to integrate advanced tactical systems that process graphical information and create terrain analyses.

Northrop Grumman will provide program management, software and systems engineering, integrated logistics support and training.

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