On the radio. The Defense Department is edging closer to delivering new DOD-wide digital radio systems.

This month, the Joint Tactical Radio System Joint Program Office expects to release Version 2.2 of the JTRS software communications architecture.

The office then will begin source selection to award a development contract within a few months, said Air Force Col. Steven MacLaird, JTRS program director.

'We think JTRS will be as powerful in the 21st century as the Global Positioning System was in the 1980s,' MacLaird said.

MacLaird spoke last month at the third annual Network-Centric Warfare conference in Washington, sponsored by the Institute for Defense and Government Advancement.

His team is responsible for migrating legacy, single-band radio systems to the JTRS architecture. JTRS will field software-programmable radios that provide multichannel voice, data, imagery and video communications. They will replace more than 25 types of military radios now in use.

HR team. The Air Force has created a special IT team to get the word out as it implements the Defense Department's new human resources system for civilian personnel. DOD expects the National Security Personnel System to give managers the flexibility to promptly move civilian workers where they are most needed and reduce the time it takes to hire new workers.

New DOD regulations affect how civilian workers are hired, paid, promoted and disciplined.

The Air Force NSPS implementation staff will use e-mail updates, video teleconferences and a Web site to provide information about the new rules to 160,000 civilian employees, said Sarah Bonilla, director of the team.

Until the Air Force site becomes available, civilian service employees can learn more about NSPS at Defense's site,, Bonilla said.


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