Defense lauds exceptional technology work

A unit that upgraded a program that halved network intrusions and an information systems flight commander who oversaw the development of a communications gateway to support military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq are first-place winners in this year's Defense CIO awards.

The Joint Task Force-Global Network Operations won the first-place team award for the overhaul of the Defense Information Operations Condition program, which led to a 58 percent decrease of intrusions on the Global Information Grid over the past year, according to John Grimes, assistant secretary of Defense for Networks and Information Integration and the Defense Department's chief information officer.

Capt. Theresa Thompson, information systems flight commander for the 39th Communications Squadron, which is stationed at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey, won the Defense CIO individual first-place award for leading a team of 70 experts to provide a communications gateway for the European Command base closest to operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. Thompson managed maintenance and operations of a $40 million information technology infrastructure, which served 3,500 military and civilian personnel at Incirlik. The systems supported forces operating in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Winning the second-place team award was the Future Capabilities Division, Strategic Command. In partnership with the Joint Forces Command and the Defense Information Systems Agency, the division led the Defense move to a service-oriented architecture. The ASD NII called the move an inventive and fast-track command and control data initiative in an operational environment, which included staging content on multiple servers and a Google-like search capability on the Defense classified intranet.

Taking the third-place team award was the Microsoft Windows Vista Security Team at the National Security Agency. ASD NII said the NSA team developed a unique relationship with Microsoft, persuading the company to produce a more secure out-of-the-box version of Windows Vista, with an eye also focused on end-user satisfaction.

The second-place individual award winner was Celine M. Johnson, chief of the Army's Local Network Operations and Security Center, which is part of the 507th Signal Company and 59th Signal Battalion. Johnson managed the first pilot of VIDITalk, a web-based video messaging system within Defense. Deployed soldiers and their families use VIDITalk to communicate via streaming video, without downloads or attachments, so that bandwidth is conserved and the risk of viruses is lowered.

Army Col. Brian Hamilton, division chief for command and control systems interoperability for the Joint Staff in the Office of Director for Command, Control, Communications and Computers, won the third-place individual award. He helped develop fundamental, key standards for the assessment of interoperability and network vulnerabilities, and helped integrate the Warfighter Mission Area into the Defense netcentric data strategy, according to ASD NII.

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