DOD redoubles joint efforts in budget-challenged times

Defense Department officials believe that the current budget cutting atmosphere will help to advance key initiatives at the Pentagon such as the joint information enterprise (JIE), reports FCW, a sister publication of Defense Systems.

“There has never been and never will be more importance placed on the network. There has never been and never will be a greater threat to our network,” MGEN Mark Bowman, director of command control, communications and computers (J6) at the Joint Staff, said Aug. 28 at the AFCEA Warfighter IT Day in Vienna, Va. “We’re going to change with the times as we need to at the time and drive toward a future where we operate as an enterprise, as opposed to a constellation. This is our mission.”

JIE, a concept built on joint efforts the military already has under way, includes data center consolidation, enterprise e-mail and other cloud capabilities. It’s a complex and difficult undertaking, Bowman said, noting that it “dwarfs the complexity associated with Joint Strike Fighter or any other big program.”

The JIE isn't a program, he emphasized, but a combination of programs and efforts designed for interoperability across DOD.

In keeping with the streamlining approach, Bowman stressed that the JIE and the major parts comprising it, such as the so-called future mission network, will largely be built from commercial off-the-shelf technologies, not proprietary solutions. It’s an idea that will become a department-wide approach in its partnership with industry, he said.

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