GNEC key to reducing network access points, improving security, says MG Lawrence

Lawrence is enlisting private sector's help

Fort Lauderdale—A CONUS-based Army charged with operating in an expeditionary environment has a unique network challenge. None is arguably more challenging that reducing the number of access points to the network as a means of sharing and securing data. It is the job of 9th Signal Command (Army) to address that requirement.

“We have 19 commands and agencies with 447 network connections; it is very hard to secure that,” said MG Susan Lawrence, the commanding general for the 9th SC, at LandWarNet 2009 conference. “We want to get to five or six access points.”

Lawrence has a plan of attack for that vision, which addresses the question: How do we provide the warfighter with the support needed to operate in a network-dependent world?

The answer, said Lawrence, is to align people, equipment and policy under the Global Network Enterprise Concept (GNEC). The benefits of GNEC include: It enables operational flexibility in a modular organization; it facilitates the ability of troops to fight upon arrival; and it allows for network access throughout the movement phase as a force transitions from the continental U.S. to the theater of operation.

For this task, Lawrence wants to enlist the aid of the private sector.

“I’m going to throw out to you,” she said, talking to contractors in the audience, “this very dirty network that we have,” she said, alluding to redundant and disparate systems. “How do we gain efficiencies and get returns immediately so we can re-capitalize the network?”

About the Author

Barry Rosenberg is editor-in-chief of Defense Systems. Follow him on Twitter: @BarryDefense.

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