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From the Cold War to the Global Information Age
Prepared remarks by Emmett Paige Jr., assistant secretary of defense for command, control, Fort Ritchie, Md., Monday, February 27, 1995

Good afternoon and thank you. ...

I am particularly pleased with the opportunity to address this chapter. The vital importance of open forums to the success of government and industry cannot be overemphasized, particularly in this era as we transition from the Cold War environment into the global information age.

In my opinion cooperation between industry and DoD is more important than ever before. DoD is relying more and more on the commercial market and its associated products to meet the C3I [command, control, communications and intelligence] portion of President [Bill] Clinton's pledge to keep our armed forces as the best equipped, best trained, best led and best prepared fighting force on the face of the Earth.

What I want to talk about today is the current status of the major ongoing C4I [command, control, communications, computers and intelligence] initiatives within DoD that are priorities to me and, hopefully, to you as well. I will also touch on where we are headed in the near future.

When I assumed the ASD [assistant secretary of defense](C3I) position in June 1993, my primary challenge was to provide the guidance, the leadership and the impetus to achieve a timely transition from the existing Cold War-based information structure to the future global information infrastructure. This meant changing a system fraught with mostly stovepipe, legacy systems that were not interoperable within the services, much less among the services, into a structure that will be modern, seamless, interoperable, high capacity, secure and accessible from any point on the globe. And I must add, we must accomplish this transition faced with consistently declining budgets.

After having served in my current position for close to two years now, this challenge is as valid and necessary today as it was 20 months ago. The bottom line is that everything I do is geared to support the war-fighters' mission with C4I capabilities that are second to none. With this in mind let me tell you about the major initiatives we are undertaking in DoD to accomplish this major challenge.

The first initiative is to ensure full C4I support of the president's and vice president's National Information Infrastructure initiative. This has significant impact on all of our futures. I consider the NII effort analogous to what we were already doing in DoD under the C4I-for-the-Warrior concept in that we already had integration and migration strategies in place and were already headed toward a seamless information system. We just had to expand our horizons to ensure DoD's C4I initiatives included the goals of the NII.

Our Defense Information Infrastructure will ride on the NII. The DoD plan to support the NII includes DoD taking the lead in dual-use technology, privacy, reliability, security and the development of global information systems. Ongoing DoD initiatives that will make significant contributions to the NII effort include applying defense message standards to the governmentwide e-mail initiative and the FTS [Federal Telecommunications System] 2000/DISN [Defense Information Systems Network] consolidation initiative.

These initiatives will help foster development of dual-use technologies, support more usage of commercial off-the-shelf items, provide business for integration efforts and foster technology insertion efforts. The results of these efforts will serve to reduce the cost to the government of providing information services while increasing U.S. global competitiveness in information technologies.

For the FTS 2000/DISN upgrade DoD and the GSA [General Services Administration] are committed to working together to do what is in the best interests of the taxpayer while meeting the future communications needs of the war fighter. GSA and the Interagency Management Committee's acquisition working group are currently reviewing all requirements and are determining the program structure for the post-FTS 2000 program.

GSA has announced the acquisition strategy it will pursue to replace the current FTS 2000 by 1998. We are evaluating what DoD requirements can be met by this program. Those requirements that cannot be satisfied by GSA will be provided for through separate acquisitions.

The DMS [Defense Message System] acquisition is in progress, so I am somewhat limited as to what I can tell you, but we expect a contract award in the very near future.

We are continuing to downsize the AUTODIN [Automatic Digital Network] message system and hope to phase it out by the turn of the century or sooner if possible. We plan to begin deploying DMS-compliant e-mail this fiscal year along with the supporting infrastructure. This will allow the migration from AUTODIN to take place. This infrastructure will also support implementation of electronic commerce and electronic data interchange throughout the department.

The next initiative that I would like to address is the ongoing effort to eliminate and duplicate redundant systems in the C4I area. It is a known fact that DoD still has a sizable inventory of C4I systems. Most of these systems are stovepipe, legacy systems that do not interoperate with any other systems.

An assessment of the inventory by the Defense Information Systems Agency indicates that we have over 250 financial systems in DoD, over 300 for material management and God only knows how many for command and control. I was told that the number was in the thousands. That sounds impossible, but even if the number is 1,000, that is far too many and is wasteful, especially in today's environment of dwindling budgets.

In October 1993 the depsecdef [deputy secretary of defense] signed a memo that served notice that elimination of duplicate C4I systems was a DoD priority. He directed acceleration of the pace in which we define and select migration systems and implement data standardization.

This memorandum gave us six months to identify migration systems and directed follow-on DoD-wide transition to these selected systems over a period not to exceed three years (October 1996). We are making great progress in this effort.

For C4I systems we have decided to approach this effort in three phases. In Phase I our goal was to identify and approve migration systems. We have generally accomplished this. Phase II calls for a more detailed analysis of the migration systems. The goal of Phase II is the final selection of the "best of breed" systems with an associated plan for transition. Phase III will consist of execution of plans into the objective migration systems.

During our initial C2 [command and control] efforts we quickly determined that a road map for this effort was required. The first order of business then was to identify the Global Command and Control System as the objective migration system for all command and control systems. This has proven to be a smarter move than we ever expected.

We have been able to further define our approach by designation of the GCCS common operating environment as the objective COE for all the CinC [commander in chief] and service C4I systems. Subsequently we went from thousands of legacy/stovepipe C2 systems to fewer than 60 being identified as migration systems for eventual incorporation into the GCCS.

In my opinion, Phase I has been the easy part. The difficult part begins with the Phase II effort for the C2 systems -- that is, to establish functional panels to analyze the nominated migration systems to determine where duplication among functionality exists; and to recommend further reductions or consolidations that can be made to ensure we have identified the "best of breed" of the migration systems in each functional area.

In the intelligence area we identified 48 out of 688 systems as the migration systems across the intelligence functional areas. In the intelligence Phase II migration effort the designated migration systems are being looked at down to the application level. A report that identifies the results of the Phase II intelligence effort is imminent. This will provide the framework for the migration effort to the objective intelligence systems.

In the information management area we are on a charted course where the senior DoD functional officials have the task of selecting and implementing their migration systems. This encompasses all defense areas, including administration, finance, logistics, personnel and health. To date the DoD has identified 1,662 legacy applications, of which nearly 200 have been selected by the functional communities as migration applications, and 1,185 already having migration plans. As stated before, this effort is proceeding with good results, and I can assure you that we plan to keep it on the front burner.

An equally important and associated effort with the migration plan is the data standardization effort. In the same secdef memorandum that outlined the migration effort, Secretary Perry tasked DoD to standardize data elements throughout the C4I mission area and gave us the same three years to accomplish it. I wish I could tell you that the progress we have made in this area is great.

In reality the progress is slow. The task is tedious and very time consuming. Regardless, we are in the midst of our most concentrated, wide-ranging data standardization effort ever undertaken. We have increased our emphasis for all DoD areas from the battlefield to the finance office.

Our objective with data standardization is to standardize the vocabulary used within the Department of Defense and to greatly increase the opportunity for efficient data exchange and integrated operations among the department's information systems at all echelons.

When successful, we will have improved the department's data sharing, controlled data redundancy, minimized data handling and improved data quality and integrity -- all of which support our goal of interoperability among joint operational forces as well as processes and systems. I am committed to this effort. It will do us no good to achieve a seamless, interoperable system if the information provided to the war fighter cannot be used.

Another important effort is the development of a common operating environment. For C3 systems it was agreed that the COE developed for the GCCS would be used as the road map for migration. Additionally, the C4I community unanimously agreed to standard layered architecture with modular software. Layers 1 and 2, which are the hardware and system support software, will be primarily COTS. Layer 3 will be the support applications software, and Layer 4 will be the mission area applications unique to specific mission areas.

To date we have been able to identify all the modules for the COE and have tasked the services and agencies for development. DISA has been tasked to integrate the completed modules into an objective coe which will be dynamic and continue to evolve as new requirements and new technologies mature.

The COE will be developed with backward compatibility to ensure that mission application investments are not lost. This effort will have far-reaching impact on the success of our migration effort and DISA has the mission to ensure that we succeed.

Another important initiative and one that I am proud of is the Global Command and Control System. Under the C4I for-the-Warrior concept the GCCS was identified and embraced by all as the system that would provide the warrior a fused, real-time, true picture of the battlefield and the ability to order, respond and coordinate vertically and horizontally to accomplish the mission.

GCCS is an evolutionary acquisition effort with actual user involvement. It was initially fielded in late 1993 at USACOM [U.S. Atlantic Command]; the proof of concept was a great success. Since that time we have had nothing but success with this initiative.

The evolutionary approach and user involvement has become the heart and soul of GCCS system development, integration, fielding and support. When we field applications, there are no surprises to the user and the users get what they expect. We are looking to field GCCS to each CinC and components by May of this year.

Most recently ACOM deployed the GCCS on the USS Eisenhower and the USS Mount Whitney in support of the Haiti situation. Feedback from the ACOM staff was very positive because the same joint tactical picture was available to ACOM, the NMCC [National Military Command Center], and the Army and Navy operations centers. Readiness data was available with the click of a mouse, as were imagery and weather.

We are serious about this program, and I am determined to enforce compliance to the common operating environment. The success of GCCS is an example of what can happen when you get OSD [Office of the Secretary of Defense], the Joint Staff, CinCs and industry united toward a common goal.

One of our greatest challenges to creating a new information system to support the war fighter is how to maintain security of the information. Now with the administration's NII initiative we have even greater challenges in this area. The vulnerability to C4I systems and networks is increasing as data flow is simplified. The ability of individuals to penetrate computer networks and deny, damage or destroy data has been demonstrated on many occasions. The most recent examples have been the well publicized intrusions into the Internet.

As our war fighters become more and more dependent on our information systems the potential for disaster is obvious. Our initiative to meet the information security challenge is an effort among NSA [National Security Agency], ARPA [Advanced Research Projects Agency] and DISA called MISSI, or the Multilevel Information Systems Security Initiative.

MISSI will be the security cornerstone for the defense information infrastructure. It will provide a multilevel security capability for networked automated information systems while ensuring that users can access only that information they are authorized, information is protected from unauthorized modification and users are identified and authenticated. MISSI will give us a single, integrated, consistent security infrastructure for all our needs: e-mail, electronic data interchange, electronic commerce, intelligence, and command and control, to include our business systems.

DoD will take the lead in getting the program up and running. However, industry should have a great interest in MISSI because it is integrally tied not only to DoD C4I systems but also to EDI, EC, financial, medical and a host of other applications across the board. MISSI is not another DoD-unique solution. We have adopted the use of available, commercial components and are integrating them based upon industry standards and commercial products.

It is true, however, that we are adding some of our own ingredients. As a first increment of MISSI we have recently mandated that all future work stations and personal computers acquired by the department come equipped with a minimum of two PCMCIA (Personal Computer Memory Card International Association) Type II slots. Having this capability will allow us to deploy NSA-developed PCMCIA cards that will provide encryption/decryption for e-mail and computer-generated faxes and implement the digital signature standard for authentication. Follow-on increments of MISSI will provide higher levels of security for all DoD information services.

For the installed work station and personal computer base we are continuing to work toward acquiring PCMCIA upgrade kits through the mechanism of joint acquisition. During the budget process we hope to have money allocated that will resource this initiative to some extent, but rest assured that we are going to ask all users in DoD to put up the money to support their needs. MISSI is not perfect, nothing is. But in my opinion it is by far the best security answer for our DoD networks.

Because of time constraints I haven't mentioned business process re-engineering and combat identification; however, this doesn't mean they are not top priorities to me. They are.

My talk today would not be complete without bringing up the subject of Ada. There has been some talk among industry that there is a split in DoD regarding the use of Ada as the standard software language for DoD. So let me update you on what has transpired in this area.

The confusion has developed over Secretary Perry's recent memo that directed the use of commercial standards in lieu of the traditional milspecs [military specifications]. Since Ada is usually referenced as MIL-STD[military standard]-1815a, there has been some discussion among industry that Ada was out and commercial standards were in, for software.

Ada is an ISO (International Standards Organization), a FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standard) and an ANSI (American National Standards Institute) standard. And Ada 95 is also an ISO, a FIPS and an ANSI standard. On Aug. 26, 1994, the undersecretary of defense (acquisition and technology) and I jointly issued a memorandum reiterating the DoD's commitment to the use of Ada.

In closing I want to talk a little about my perception of the impacts of the continual budget reductions on the C4I arena.

The FY [fiscal year] 1995 budget requested $252.2 billion in budget authority for the Department of Defense. In real terms the FY 1995 budget is 35 percent below FY 1985, the peak year for the DoD budget authority. DoD officials have noted that this is the 10th straight year of real decline for the defense budget. I can tell you that everyone is feeling the impact of continual budget reductions, but I have seen some positive aspects in the C4I area because of the budget cuts.

The first is that it has truly caused the C4I community to come together and focus on the C4 requirements and initiatives at hand. In my opinion there appears to be an atmosphere of trust, cooperation and urgency that I have never seen before, to participate toward a common goal: a truly seamless system to support war fighters.

The second positive impact that I see is that more people in DoD have realized we must break down the traditional bureaucratic barriers in order to take advantage of commercial technology if we are to maintain the technological edge that wins wars. We have seen this taking place with the recent secdef guidance on milspec use for DoD equipment. Additionally, it is a well known fact that the DoD is working hard to streamline the acquisition process in order to take advantage of commercial technology and get systems in the hands of the users faster and cheaper.

It is apparent that we face significant challenges in our quest to establish a modern C4I system to support the war fighter now and in the future. However, I believe the past year's accomplishments show that we are up to the task. We have the right programs and strategies in place, we have the support of the administration and the C4I community. We need the support from industry to help us make it happen. ...


Published for internal information use by the American Forces Information Service, a field activity of the Office of the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs), Washington, D.C. Parenthetical entries are speaker/author notes; bracketed entries are editorial notes. This material is in the public domain and may be reprinted without permission. Defense Issues is available on the Internet via the World Wide Web at