Army resumes ICITE integration after DoD hold up

After years of delay the Army will begin catching up with the intelligence community on common desktop environments.

Next year, the Army will begin a small common desktop environment (DTE) adoption pilot in 2017 that will create momentum for a larger movement in 2018 and 2019, said Annette Redmond, director of Army Intelligence Community Information Management during a Sept. 16 speech.

“I am committed to getting the National Capital Region footprint that I have [on DTE], which is about 5,000 there,” Redmond said during an AFCEA event in Vienna, Virginia.

DTE is a part of the intelligence community’s push for a more integrated IT infrastructure between the intelligence agencies and services.

The Army and other services hit major roadblocks in implementing the Intelligence Community Information Technology Environment (ICITE) due to some holdups within the Defense Department.

“We sort of had a little bit of a roadblock in front of us for the last couple of years,” Redmond said. “[The Office of the Secretary of Defense] told us that it violated the [Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement] for DoD to use the ICITE contracts and I personally went on a little bit of a jihad with OSD and I said, ‘This is ridiculous. You guys have to help us figure this out.’ So, we found a path; we finally got our determination in finding the Economy Act provision signed … so now we are dusting off our ICITE adoption plans and figuring out what that looks like.”

The Army plans to leverage a lot of the technologies with ICITE that the IC uses now, but as of now the National Capital Region is the only area that is prepared for those transitions.

The Army is working with the Director of National Intelligence to figure out how to work in the other regions of the nation and world, Redmond said.

Data management will be one of the biggest challenges in transitioning the intelligence side of the Army to ICTE capabilities.

“In creating the trust environment on the scale that the Army is in we are going to have a lot of legacy capability left for a number of years, particularly if we are starting with the National Capital Region. I can’t afford to have the tactical footprint be disconnected from the strategic footprint,” Redmond said. “How do we ensure that the data flow, as we are reaching into the IC data pipes, that trust is there to enable us to get that data all the way to the tactical edge.”

Redmond said she is looking into the creation of a chief data officer in the next year to work with the IC and DoD on data management and architectural trust.

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