Boutelle: Army warfighting, business mission areas must be interoperable

The leaders of the Army's nine warfighting and business mission areas must prove programs within their domains are interoperable or those programs will be cut, according to language in an upcoming operations plan.

Army Secretary Francis J. Harvey is expected to sign off on the plan that would also fold technical control of the Central Technical Support Facility, based at Fort Hood, Texas, under the Army CIO's office. The facility will be the site where programs are tested for interoperability.

The CIO's office will take a lead role in overseeing the evaluation of programs that fall under the warfighting and business domains.

'My primary concern is interoperability. Second of all is the total cost of ownership," said Lt. Gen. Steven Boutelle, the Army's CIO. Boutelle spoke yesterday at Army IT Day, sponsored by the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association's Northern Virginia chapter. 'The operations plan defines how we're going to do this.'

The document requires the nine domain leaders in the Army, representing areas such as logistics, intelligence, finance and acquisition, to perform an exhaustive study of what systems they hold in their infrastructures, report whether their systems are programs of record and submit them for interoperability testing at the CTSF.

Boutelle said the outcome of the studies will largely determine which programs the Army keeps and which will get tossed.

The Central Technical Support Facility is charged with rapidly developing, fielding and supporting leading-edge, secure and interoperable tactical, theater and strategic command, control and communications systems. The facility offers systems integration testing, configuration management and field engineering to Army units.

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