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DOD Names Chief Information Officer Award Winners

By John D. Banusiewicz
Special to American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 29, 2003 – The Defense Department's information technology community honored its top performers in a Sept. 25 ceremony at the Pentagon.

The Chief Information Officer Awards Program recognizes both teams and individuals. Judges looked for outstanding achievement in at least one of seven key areas of information technology outlined in the Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996, and results that improved service, saved money or significantly affected the department's IT mission, officials said.

The Clinger-Cohen Act combined laws reforming government information technology and acquisition. It requires federal agencies to link IT investments to their organization's accomplishments, and to set up processes to select, manage and control those investments.

In this, the CIO Awards Program's third year, program coordinators chose finalists from among the 75 nominations submitted, and the Defense Department's CIO Executive Board chose the winners.

The 2003 award winners in the team category are:

First place: U.S. Marine Corps Total Force Administration System Marine OnLine Team. The team achieved a more than $1.8 million return to date -- and a projected eventual return of almost $58.7 million -- on the investment in its system, as it allows more than 1,000 administrative manpower positions to be eliminated or converted to combat arms positions. Acquisition officials, functional managers and software engineers worked together to bring the system in on time and within budget. The system uses industry best practices, and was designed to work along with existing systems containing individual Marines' master records.

Second place: DoD Enterprise Software Initiative Team. This team consolidated requirements and established agreements with vendors to take advantage of the department's vast buying power to save money on commercial software.

Third place: The Air Force's Air Education and Training Command. The AETC team led efforts to replace the saturated telephone switch at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, reducing costs from $7 million to $3.6 million without reducing capability. The team's implementation of Microsoft's system management server at 13 bases was the largest such effort in the world, tying 75,000 personal computers into a common system. AETC also completed a consolidated network of e-mail, print and file servers at the base level. The command's implementation plan now is being used by other Air Force major commands, and is expected to produce a 90 percent reduction in equipment and people.

Individual category winners are:

First place: Air Force Capt. Leonard Boothe, commander of the 39th Communication Squadron's Information Systems Flight, Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. Boothe and his 90-member team directly supported both U.S. and coalition units and maintained $40 million in assets for Operations Northern Watch, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. The captain identified shortfalls and requirements, and led installation of command and control system improvements used during combat operations in Iraq.

Second place: Hari Bezwada, information management and telecommunications product manager for efforts to rebuild the Pentagon after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack. Nominated for the award by the Army, Bezwada devised the criteria for recovering and rebuilding the IT infrastructure, and for restructuring the renovation contract that had been in effect before the attack. The damaged portion of the Pentagon was rebuilt and workers moved back by Sept. 11, 2002.

Third place: Douglas Voelker, lead data network engineer, strategic planner and architect for the U.S. Joint Forces Command's Joint Communications Support Element. Voelker was on the data engineering team that developed concepts, integrated technologies and tested the U.S. Central Command's $54 million deployable headquarters. The team provided communications capabilities for the CENTCOM and coalition staffs, enabling successful deployment of the headquarters. Voelker's recommendations have become part of Joint Vision 2020, the Global Information Grid architecture and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff instructions.


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