DOD is building foundation for network-centricity

Top military IT officials yesterday said the Global Information Grid is at the heart of their goals for achieving network-centricity and interoperability.

Several Defense Department officials testified before the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities on the IT architectures they are building to ensure that warfighters have access to joint, interoperable systems.

Rep. Jim Saxton (R-N.J.), chairman of the subcommittee, said although DOD is off to a good start by creating the GIG architecture, the department has a long way to go to change the people, processes and services needed to achieve net-centricity. Saxton asked what the department was doing to reduce redundant, stovepiped systems.

'I am concerned that warfighters may not be able to tap into these capabilities if individual service architectures limit interoperability,' he said.

Pentagon CIO John Stenbit said each of the military services is working to develop major systems that conform with the GIG architecture.

The grid uses commercial technology to integrate legacy systems that include the Army's Future Combat Systems, the Air Force's Command and Control Constellation, the Navy's ForceNet initiative, and the Defense Information Systems Agency's Net-Centric Enterprise Services.

'As an entity, the GIG comprises many systems that interoperate,' Stenbit said. 'Thus, the GIG will be like a private World Wide Web'many systems distributed worldwide that interoperate to allow vast amounts of information to be readily pulled by anyone or anything, anywhere, anytime.'

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