Unified DOD messaging system closer

The entire Defense Department is now close to having a single solution for Defense Messaging System (DMS) communications, following a recent award by the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR).

The $1.7 million in task orders awarded to Telos Corp., issued under the Network Centric Solutions (NETCENTS) contract, complete the installation of the Navy Regional Enterprise Messaging System (NREMS), which will support all of the Navy’s shore-based communications marked secret or below.

NREMS uses Telos’ Automated Message Handling System (AMHS) secure enterprise messaging software, which has been chosen by all the military services as the next generation solution for the DMS.

The DOD is rapidly approaching the point at which virtually all services and agencies will be using AMHS for DMS communications, according to Mike Masters, vice president for Telos Secure Messaging Solutions.

“There will still be some specialized agencies and portions of the services using non-DMS communications and a handful of other DMS capabilities, but those represent a very small part of the overall organizational messaging capability within the DOD,” he said.

The Air Force has already completely cut over to AMHS, he said, and all almost all Army CONUS organizations will be on AMHS by the end of this year. He also expected the completion of the last two of six Marine Corps regional installations to be finished by the end of September.

“As soon as the users supported by those installations are cut over, the entire USMC will be using the AMHS,” Masters said. “The Coast Guard has (already) cut over to AMHS for all CONUS shore-based communications.”

As well as the efficiencies provided through what will eventually be an enterprise-wide communications solution, AMHS also delivers cost-savings in various areas. Each AMHS server houses virtual Fortezza cards on its Type 2 Cryptographic Support Server board, for example, eliminating the need to keep track of individual, physical Fortezza cards.

The Air Force estimates that moving to AMHS will save it $80 million a year by eliminating Microsoft Exchange DMS sites and associated servers and system administrator positions. Likewise, the Army expects to benefit from centralized account management and help desk support.

About the Author

Brian Robinson is a special contributor to Defense Systems.

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