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DISA incorporates desktop-telepresence across DoD

How can a Defense Department analyst hold a last-minute meeting with three other analysts in three different locations around the world? Well, if they're one of the over 380,000 Defense employees using Defense Connect Online, it's as simple as turning on a video camera and starting a session. Defense Connect Online (DCO) is the Defense Information Systems Agency's second video teleconferencing system by which users web conference using video cameras at their desk or laptop. DCO is available DoD-wide. The technology is being applied by senior-level leaders, agency employees, and service members alike, according to Colonel Brian Hermann, chief of the Net-Centric Enterprise Services branch. Managed in conjunction by Carahsoft Technology Corp. and Adobe Systems Incorp., DCO consists of a multiuser text chat and instant messaging, as well as web conferencing using Adobe Connect. DISA first awarded the contract in 1997. Aside from allowing program leaders and employees in different locations to hold discussions from their desks, DCO has also been incorporated into DISA's telework strategy. "DCO has enabled our telework program to thrive, allowing DISA employees to fully participate in meetings, no matter where they are located," Hermann said. It allows off-site employees to "participate fully in small-group meetings, including the use of whiteboarding and sharing presentations." Last year, DISA extended the service to non-DoD agencies and federal partners who work with the DoD. "The greatest challenge online is balancing security with sharing," Hermann said. "We solve that by allowing other federal government members to have accounts on our DCO services." With the expansion, federal employees with .gov email addresses can also create DCO accounts to further collaborate with DoD mission partners. The system has been widely incorporated across the DoD, and is adding approximately 4,500 new users each week, Hermann said. "DCO is also currently being used by DoD service members to hold impromptu meetings for situational awareness," Hermann said. "We have moved from simply cost benefits to command and control and operational capabilities."

Tags: technology , Video Teleconferencing Center , telework , cisco , TANDBERG , DISA , DCO , defense

Friday - 12/03/2010, 12:57pm EST

Pentagon budget to decline

The defense budget for the U.S. is going to recede, but it's not clear exactly when or by how much. Defense Secretary Robert Gates wants the military to find $100 billion in savings in overhead over the next five years to put back into troop costs and weapons programs and he wants to do it while keeping the overall Pentagon budget growing at about 1 percent a year. Marine Corps General James Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said yesterday other parts of the government might have a problem with that.

Tags: Pentagon & Beyond , Pentagon , J.J. Green , defense

Thursday - 12/02/2010, 08:07pm EST

Obama seeking help on START

President Barack Obama is looking for help from former Secretary of State Colin Powell to jump start the short-circuited nuclear treaty with the Russians. Powell, a retired four-star Army general and former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, said, "We're not exactly sure what's going on in the Russian Federation, and they're not exactly sure what's going on in the United States." The START treaty would reduce how many strategic warheads the United States and Russia could hold and set up a system so each could inspect and verify the other's arsenal.

Tags: Pentagon & Beyond , Pentagon , J.J. Green , defense

Thursday - 12/02/2010, 07:52pm EST

Showdown plays out in Brazil

Brazilian police showed off piles of drugs and weapons seized during an aggressive takeover of two of this city's most dangerous slums, even as the search continued Tuesday in homes and even sewers for their real target: the drug gang leaders themselves. According to the Associated Press, police conceded that many of the up to 600 drug gang members believed to have been hiding in Vila Cruzeiro and the neighboring Alemao complex of slums may have escaped. The hunt for those that got away extended Tuesday into Rio's maze of storm sewers. The tally for a week of gang attacks and police raids included 124 arrested, 148 detained and 51 dead, authorities said in a statement released Tuesday.

Tags: Pentagon & Beyond , Pentagon , J.J. Green , defense

Wednesday - 12/01/2010, 10:50am EST

Iranian Paranoia

The Wikileaks documents presents more evidence that Iran is becoming increasingly more isolated not just because of the sanctions aimed strangling it's nuclear pursuits, but diplomatically too. The crown prince of the United Arab Emirates said in one of the cables, "Iran would obtain a nuclear weapon unless the regime could be 'split from inside' before nuclear capability was achieved." That same documented pointed out as well that Iran has a major fear of improving relations with the U.S. because it would threaten the government's control over the country.

Tags: Pentagon & Beyond , Pentagon , J.J. Green , defense

Wednesday - 12/01/2010, 10:50am EST

NATO preparing to hand over security in Afghanistan

Even though senior NATO and Pentagon officials have expressed doubt that Afghan forces will be ready to take over security for the country in 2014, NATO leaders say thery will move ahead with step one of the plan to do just that. Britan, Canada and other allied countries say they do not want to be in a combat role in 2014 and are beginning to phase out their troops. The U.S. says it will begin it's withdrawal from Afghanistan next year.

Tags: Pentagon & Beyond , Pentagon , J.J. Green , NATO , defense

Wednesday - 12/01/2010, 10:49am EST

Is Iraq on the brink?

How will the U.S withdrawal from Iraq next year affect security there? Colin Kahl, deputy assistant secretary of defense for the Middle East, told the House Foreign Affairs Committee security remains strong and the pullout at the end of 2011 will not ignite a dramatic increase in violence. Al Qaida, while successful in pulling of several high profile attacks in recent weeks, killing hundreds has not succeeded in ingniting widespread sectarian violence.

Tags: Pentagon & Beyond , Pentagon , J.J. Green , Colin Kahl

Wednesday - 12/01/2010, 10:48am EST

Gov. McDonnell on why he's against JFCOM closing

Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-Va.) joined WTOP's Ask the Governor to discuss why he believes DoD should not close the Joint Forces Command in his state.

Tags: Joint Forces Command , Bob McDonnell , Robert Gates

Tuesday - 11/30/2010, 04:05pm EST
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Soldiers displeased with Army Knowledge Online

The Army Times received more than 70 e-mails from active-duty, civilian and retired users. Almost all of them expressed some dissatisfaction with the site.

Tags: AKO , Army , social media , Gov 2.0 , DoD Report , Dorobek Insider

Monday - 11/29/2010, 05:24pm EST

Military shares videos on milTube

milTube is the Pentagon's latest social media offering. It's like YouTube but only members of the military can access it. Justin Filler is the deputy director of MilTech Solutions. He tells us how and why the site was created.

Tags: milTube , social media , Gov 2.0 , MilTech , DoD Report , Dorobek Insider , Justin Filler

Monday - 11/29/2010, 02:45pm EST
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