Lt.Gen. Mark Bowman: Everyone is pulling together on JIE. ()
The Defense Department is moving forward with the implementation of its Joint Information Environment, pursuing multiple parts of the effort concurrently, but officials are offering no specific timeline for its next iteration.
Several Pentagon officials, speaking March 18 at AFCEA’s Army IT Day in Vienna, Va., reiterated their support for JIE, which is the military-wide plan for IT and information-sharing. One top official that is helping to spearhead the initiative emphasized that while there have been some setbacks, the effort is moving forward.
“Some say it isn’t going well. I 100-percent disagree with that. Yes, it could go faster, but it’s going well,” said Lt. Gen. Mark Bowman, director of command, control, communications and computers and CIO at the Joint Staff. “The progress that our troops are making is absolutely stunning. The Army is leading the way and the other services are in it is well. Everyone is pulling together on JIE in the right direction. Some are pulling harder than others, some of them have culture they’ve got to get over, some of them have contracts they need to fix, but we’re going the way we need to go.”
The first increment of JIE, implemented in Europe and operating at initial capacity since last August, has undergone several reviews and upgrades already, Bowman noted. A capability review was reportedly slated to happen by the end of March. Bowman said evaluations have been ongoing and adjustments made along the way, and the military is also working on the second increment, to be deployed in the Pacific.
“We’re fielding a capability, we’re moving along, we’re changing things,” Bowman said. “We’ve been doing capability upgrades and we’re at capability upgrade 3 now. Concurrently we’re already working on increment 2 with site surveys and discussions on where we need to go and what we need to do. … The specific timeline, we don’t stick to a certain number of days. We weren’t told that you can only do increment 1 and in a serial fashion do increment 2; they’re kind of going along, and if we can pick up speed in one area, we will.”
But the department-wide move to JIE, even if it hasn’t happened everywhere yet, is as good as a done deal, Bowman indicated.
“We like to look at JIE as a menu, and we like to think of it like everyone has to consume everything on that menu,” he said. “It concerns some that we don’t consume it all at the same time, but what we look at is what makes operational sense for the users out there. And if they can demonstrate they are operationally allergic, that it will cause adverse effects on operations if they move to a particular item associated with JIE, then they’ll get a bye. Other than that, they’ll do it. What order they do it in doesn’t matter – it has to be it has to be a coordinated effort.”