DOD's IT budget boost is biggest in four years

The Net-Centric Enterprise Services initiative, whose budget would grow by $30 million in 2006, is being used by DISA to develop core IT functions for use by all the services to promote information sharing.

The president's fiscal 2006 Defense Department budget proposal calls for raising IT spending by the largest margin in the past four years.

President Bush asked Congress to approve $30.1 billion for IT programs next year, a 4.9 percent increase over this year.

'The 2006 budget supports substantial investments in advanced technology to provide advantages over our enemies, particularly in remote sensing and high-performance computing,' Defense officials noted in a summary of IT spending. 'Investments in communications are improving connectivity between troops and their commanders well beyond the field of battle. These developments are improving our ability to detect and counter the broad range of threats facing the United States, reaping benefits for both U.S. forces and homeland security.'

The proposal includes significant increases for several programs that are part of the Global Information Grid, DOD's effort to build a worldwide network for classified and unclassified data. Among the GIG projects that fared well in the 2006 budget were:
  • Transformational Satellite Communications would receive $836 million to continue development. TSAT would field a constellation of satellites that communicate via laser and offer users multigigabit bandwidth.

  • The Net-Centric Enterprise Services initiative would receive $79 million, nearly $30 million more than this year. Under NCES, the Defense Information Systems Agency is developing core IT services that would be used throughout the military to promote in- formation sharing and interoperability.

Defense CIO Linton Wells II said he is encouraged by support offered to key GIG programs. He said the Global Information Grid-Bandwidth Expansion program, Joint Tactical Radio System and GIG Information Assurance projects also received boosts.

'The problem is, we've got to keep delivering,' he added.

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