Magazine article National Defense

Joint Interoperability Test Site Expected to Grow

Magazine article National Defense

Joint Interoperability Test Site Expected to Grow

Article excerpt

Defense Information Systems Agency branch certifies 'critical' data systems

The Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC) was designated by the Joint Chiefs of Staff as the authority that certifies whether critical information systems used by the Defense Department meet interoperability requirements for joint military operations.

JITC, which is part of the Defense Information Systems Agency, has provided on-site technical support, throughout the past decade, during military exercises and contingency operations. JITC's commander is Air Force Col. Terry Pricer. Denis Beaugureau is his deputy.

The command conducts operational testing for all DISA-managed programs, as well as for other Defense Department agencies that do not have dedicated test resources. JITC also serves as a Major Range and Test Facility Base (MRTFB) activity, which means it can extend its test resources and certification processes directly to other federal government agencies, private industry and allied nations.

Until recently, JITC's test operations were located at Fort Huachuca, in Arizona, a facility best known for evaluations of tactical data links, strategic switches, high frequency systems and theater missile defense systems.

As requirements for compatible and interoperable systems increased, JITC expanded. In 1993, it established the Messaging and Information Systems Division (MISD) in Cheltenham, Md., which then moved to the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) at Indian Head, also in Maryland, in 1998.

The MISD, managed by Michael P. Mangan, tests, evaluates and certifies critical information systems, such as the Defense Message System (DMS), the Global Command and Control System (GCCS), information assurance, military logistics and intelligence interoperability.

The MISD serves as the DMS test coordinator and is responsible for the oversight and execution of all product testing and developmental testing events. Product testing is conducted at the Lockheed Martin Federal Systems facility in Manassas, Va. The DMS developmental test laboratories are located at Fort Detrick, Fort Huachuca, and Indian Head. Connectivity established between these three test labs allows testing of system interoperability and performance, to assess DMS readiness before operational testing.

GCCS serves as an automated crisis management and planning system for the Joint Staff and the commanders in the field. The MISD conducts functional testing and assessments of GCCS and ensures that tasks outlined in Joint Vision 2010 are satisfied. The current GCCS laboratory environment involves both Solaris and Windows NT architectures. The MISD uses a database as a repository for information formatted and collected during GCCS tests. It is the only database that tracks requirements throughout the life cycle of the system.

In March 2001, the MISD built an information-assurance laboratory, to test network vulnerabilities and systems' reactions to unauthorized intrusions. The laboratory has various operating system platforms, including Windows NT, UNIX and Linux. The Joint Intrusion Detection System, originally developed for the Department of Energy, is an example of an information-assurance product that has recently gone through stringent testing by MISD. …

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