Incoming

GIG is up. The Defense Department is moving forward on a major piece of its technology transformation.

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

NCES is an initiative to integrate common information services over the Global Information Grid.

'They started out floundering around, trying to figure out everything,' Stenbit said of the NCES 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.'

Unmanned advances. Besides full-scale unmanned aerial vehicles for surveillance and combat, the Defense Department also wants to study the use of smaller aircraft.

These UAVs could fly around buildings to determine the number of occupants, said Brad Tousley, urban warfare technologies program manager for the Tactical Technology Office at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

At the recent DARPATech 2004 conference in Anaheim, Calif., iRobot Corp. demonstrated how a swarm of these robots might act. The Burlington, Mass., company developed the robots under a DARPA grant.

IRobot set up a paddock enclosing 30 tissue-box-sized vehicles. It programmed each vehicle to seek out and trade information with the others as well as to find a metallic blue beacon on one side of the paddock.

When one found the beacon, it informed its nearest neighbors. Within a few minutes all the robots closely surrounded the beacon.

'I envision a future where unmanned vehicles fly in formations, collaborating not only among themselves but also with manned air vehicles operating in the same airspace,' said Gary Graham, deputy director of DARPA's Tactical Technology Office.

Consolidation. The new Navy Installations Command plans to save money by consolidating 29 business areas across 98 installations worldwide.

This month the command will release a request for proposals for a server consolidation program, said Jeffrey Huskey, deputy command information officer for CNI.

The agenda also calls for developing an enterprise architecture, deploying the Navy-Marine Corps Intranet portal, developing a sensor integration plan and establishing a set of standard applications.

'Right now, there are a lot of people in charge of the governance for IT,' Huskey said at the Telestrategies Federal Networks 2004 conference in Washington. 'We inherited all the different application management stuff from all the organizations. We inherited 17,000 servers, 19,000 apps, very few of which communicate with each other.'

Training deal. The Defense Logistics Agency will use software from Plateau Systems to manage all aspects of training for 22,000 personnel around the globe.

DLA has awarded the Arlington, Va., company a five-year contract worth just more than $1 million for the Plateau 4 Learning Management System.

Next month Plateau's global services organization will begin implementing the system in four phases. The last phase should be completed by September, DLA officials said.

'Plateau 4 LMS was selected as the solution for DLA's learning management needs after a thorough competitive bidding process,' said Karlon Roop, project manager for DLA.

The agency will use Plateau 4 LMS to administer training; improve accountability and reporting of management skills and certifications; comply with document and records management regulations; and support business systems modernization training and administration. Supervisors can use the system to track employee skills. Plateau 4 LMS will also give users constant access to e-learning through a secure Internet connection and Web browser.

The system will be integrated with DLA's Human Resources Information System, giving administrators a picture of each employee's job and mission requirements.

Major services contract. The Naval Air Systems Command has awarded Anteon International Corp. of Fairfax, Va., a multimillion-dollar contract for program management and technical support services.

The five-year, indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract is potentially worth $460 million if all options are exercised.

Anteon will provide NAVAIR headquarters, program executive offices and field affiliates with services including research, design, development, engineering, procurement, test and evaluation, training, and logistics support.

The services will be provided during all acquisition phases of Navy aircraft and aviation weapons systems.

About the Authors


Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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