Early GIG-BE rollout sites to get Version 1 of Net-Centric Enterprise Services

John Stenbit, DOD

John Stenbit, Defense Department CIO, said Version 1 of the Net-Centric Enterprise Services program would be deployed on Oct. 1 at the initial 10 sites that will begin rolling out the Global Information Grid-Bandwidth Expansion network.

NCES is a DOD initiative that will integrate a common set of information services over the Global Information Grid.

'They started out floundering around, trying to figure out everything,' Stenbit said of the NCES program office. 'I said that's great, but we're going to deploy GIG-BE on the first of October so what are you going to put there? So the next step is Version 1 and they have a much more specific set of projects. Otherwise, the GIG sites would be there and not be able to do anything.'

GIG-BE is a ground-based switched optical network that will create a worldwide information backbone supporting 10-Gbps and faster connections. DOD is rolling out GIG-BE worldwide at roughly 100 sites. The network initially will offer OC-192 connectivity.

During a recent interview, Stenbit also talked about the confusion regarding the IT budget process and the dollar amounts allocated. He said this year, the department distinguished between tactical systems and administrative/business systems in the budget proposal.

Out of the $28.7 billion Defense IT budget proposal, the DOD is asking for $14.8 billion for information assurance, $7.8 billion for warfighting IT systems and national security systems, $5 billion for business IT and $1.1 billion for technical activities.

Stenbit said he decided to break down the IT budget amounts by category because routinely, a lot of non-IT systems are lumped into the total Defense IT budget.

'The real problem here is that IT is a buzzword for various (programs),' Stenbit said.

For example, Stenbit said the department is forced to include a lot of programs in IT that he wouldn't if he had a choice, including the Joint Tactical Radio System. Other programs, like the Transformational Satellite program, which 'is certainly an infrastructure,' don't fall under the IT budget.

Stenbit said he considers the total Defense IT budget for 2005 to be closer to $5 billion.

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