Defense plans to replace command and control system

SALT LAKE CITY ? The Defense Department's Global Command and Control System is getting long in the tooth and will be replaced beginning in 2006, Defense Information Systems Agency officials said yesterday.

In place of GCCS will be a new set of applications known as JC2, or Joint Command and Control. JC2 will use Web services and fit with DOD's plan for network-centric warfare, said Dawn Meyerriecks, DISA's chief technology officer.

Speaking at the Systems and Software Technology Conference, Meyerriecks said GCCS is insufficiently scalable, runs obsolete and unsupported versions of Sun Microsystems Inc.'s Solaris operating system and Oracle Corp.'s database, and is the wrong architecture.

Noting that DISA has released 27 updates of GCCS since Sept. 11, 2001, Meyerriecks said: "We can do this only one more time."

Bernal Allen, chief of DISA's Enterprise Application Division, said one more full version of GCCS, Version 4, will come out in the second quarter of 2006; the first block of JC2 will arrive in the fourth quarter of that year. But, he said, the advent of JC2 won't be a headache for users.

"JC2 will sneak up on you like a little kitty cat," he said. "It won't be a big bang but an evolutionary event."

The problem is that in order to change one part of GCCS, such as the operating system, the whole thing must be recompiled and retested, Meyerriecks said. The technology path DISA and the armed services are on now is to separate the data transport infrastructure, the OS and Web services, applications and data so that each can be updated independently.

GCCS, with its client-server architecture, can't be extended to individual warfighters. Officials envision JC2 having this capability, Meyerriecks said.

DISA's Global Information Grid-Bandwidth Expansion acquisition is how the agency is ramping up the transport. The Net Centric Enterprise Services project represents the effort to build a Web services infrastructure to run on GIG-BE.

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