Magazine article National Defense

Defense Net Falls Short in Homeland Missions

Magazine article National Defense

Defense Net Falls Short in Homeland Missions

Article excerpt

The Defense Department's computer network, the Global Information Grid, is not adept at connecting homeland security missions. This shortcoming is leading Pentagon planners to find ways to improve interconnectivity during defensive missions.

"GIG does not serve us as well at Northcom as other combatant commands," noted Maj. Gen. Dale Meyerrose, director of architecture and integration at U.S. Northern Command headquarters, at a recent industry conference. He added that legal constraints on sharing levels of classified information often leave Northcom at a loss during "home games," such as security events and threats to the continental United States.

Officials responsible for updating the network foresee a new dynamic in the way information flows, one that may be flexible enough to cater to domestic and foreign military operations.

Given the congressional and executive level mandates on information sharing between the Defense Department and Department of Homeland Security, as well as non-federal players, this gap could effect operations during a terrorist attack or natural disaster. The problem, as usual, is getting the right information to and from people on the frontlines.

"GIG was the Defense Department perspective to address the war fighter's environment," said Craig Harber, head of the National Security Agency's information security group. …

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