Boutelle counting on launch of military comm satellites

MONTEREY, Calif.'Army CIO Lt. Gen. Steven Boutelle said he will be happy when the government starts launching its own satellites and becomes less dependent on commercial satellites for communications.

"The stuff that we're putting in today is not where I want to go," said Boutelle at the MILCOM 2004 conference here, adding that roughly 80 percent of all communications in Iraq is via commercial satellites. "We haven't launched a lot of military satellites."

The first big military satellite to go up, the Wideband Gapfiller, will be launched in December 2005, followed by the Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellite in 2007, the Mobile User Objective System in 2010 and Transformational Communications Satellites in the next decade.

The Army also is putting a lot of money'$2.1 billion'towards rewiring posts, camps and stations to attach to the IP-based, Global Information Grid-Bandwidth Expansion program. Through the $900 million GIG-BE program, the Defense Information Systems Agency is creating a Synchronous Optical Network with throughput of 10 Gbps for Defense users. The planned GIG-BE hubs generally rely on DISN-leased connectivity services now that range from T1 at 1.544 Mbps to OC-48 at 2.4 Gpbs.

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