DOD pilots net-centric program for Afghanis

DOD pilots net-centric program for Afghanis

MONTEREY, Calif.'The Defense Department is helping Afghanistan with a new pilot that tests a network-centric data strategy for the country's customs, transportation and security departments.

The pilot, which began last month, lets border workers in Afghanistan electronically record data from license plates and driver's licenses to assist with counterterrorism efforts, said Linton Wells, acting CIO and assistant secretary of Defense for network and information integration.

Well's NII Office unveiled a new directorate, the Contingency Support and Migration Planning Division, that DOD can dispatch as needed to support contingencies around the world. Staff from the new division are headed to Afghanistan next week to help Afghan personnel run the communications pilot that is meshes with NATO comm strategies, Wells said.

A standard communications system will ultimately protect U.S. and allied forces, he said.

"My concern is the lives of our military forces," Wells said in an interview after his keynote speech at the Military Communications Conference 2004. "If I can help stabilize the situation and help improve the information of the security forces, it will help."

The three-pronged effort requires applying metadata tags to collected information. The pilot builds on details laid out by DOD in its Net-Centric Data Strategy, the recommendations of the World Summit on the Information Society and the needs of the Afghan people, Wells said.

The World Summit met in Germany last winter and released the Information and Communication Technology for Development, a document based on the comm goals of the United Nations. Next year, the summit will unveil its Information and Communication Technology for Peace recommendations.

Wells said a universal communications system should end the use of numerous and disparate proprietary software and hardware that vendors are selling to Afghanistan'systems that don't provide the nation with a complete picture of border-crossing information.

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