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Army reviews its IT as chief of staff shows interest

March 31, 2017 (Photo Credit: Capt. Meredith Mathis/Army)
Led by its chief of staff, the Army is taking an end to end look at its IT.

While the Army for some time has been undergoing a number of network modernization initiatives, the service's lead in that department, Maj. Gen. Garrett Yee, said Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley has taken an interest in the Army network.

Speaking at the AFCEA NOVA Warfighter IT Day on Thursday, Yee said the Army staff has scheduled acquisition-focused sessions every Friday with the chief and the vice chief to look at the Army's expenses and how it can improve there.

During these reviews, Yee said Milley wants the information technology aspect broken down, adding that everything is on the table — strategic networks, tactical networks characterized by the Warfighter Information Network-Tactical program, Distributed Common Ground System-Army, General Fund Enterprise Business Systems, Logistics Modernization Program and so on.

In the first session, out of 145 slides, they got through 12 in four hours, Yee said. The first session was mostly about understanding Milley’s initial thoughts about the network.

The chief of staff said he wants 15 of these sessions in the next three months, according to Yee, describing them as “soup to nuts, end to end, all the systems, all the business systems, mission command systems — you name it.”

Yee said Milley is looking for efficiencies and optimization, and is questioning whether or not the Army is headed in the right direction.

That review in itself is going to drive a lot of churn in the building as it is cuts across Army staff and out of commands, such as Communications-Electronic Command and Army Cyber Command, said Yee.

One of the key modernization efforts — which while encouraged by the Department of Defense's chief information officer’s division is really being undertaken and driven by each individual service — is the push to the Joint Regional Security Stacks.

Yee said the Army now has 23 regional JRSS locations; 291 base, post camp and station installations; and 45 Army organizations moved to JRSS.

“As of today, we have 9 JRSS stacks passing traffic around the world,” he said. The eventual DoD-wide goal is 25 stacks.

Yee added that most of those stacks are based in the continental United States, but some outside are active and ready.

"It’s happening,” he said of the move, telling the audience of mostly industry that for those that have been around the past few years when this was the regional security stacks and then the joint regional security stacks, this is actually happening now.
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