Army Program Exec: Contract Strategy, Cloud, Biometrics Top Priorities

Photo: Attila Toro

The U.S. Army is prioritizing industry partnerships and maintaining progress in cloud computing, data centers and biometric processes, according to a top Army officer. 

Doug Wiltsie, the Army’s program executive officer for enterprise information systems, told Defense Systems his main priority is to build relationships with industry in order to improve the Army’s contracting strategy

Wiltsie said he aims to enable earlier industry and Army conversations to better direct the purchase process.

Wiltsie said he also wants to align the Army’s acquisition practice so that two systems with similar requirements can be combined into one. 

Wiltsie said he is working with the Army’s technology leaders to define the architecture and standards necessary for the Army to move its legacy systems to a cloud environment. 

Data remains an obstacle in moving enterprise systems to a cloud environment, Wiltsie said.

That is because the Army must determine how to structure and tag its data so that it is accessible and searchable. 

Wiltsie said Army data centers may eventually be federated with Defense Information Systems Agency facilities and other data centers to deliver Pentagon cloud services.

This effort will play a part in eventually providing the Army enterprise-wide cloud services, he said. 

The Army also plans to create a biometrics program of record and expects to reach a key decision in fiscal 2013, Wiltsie said. 

Wiltsie said deployed forces have benefited from using biometrics in the field and use the technology to distinguish friend from foe.

The Pentagon recently purchased new handheld devices to analyze fingerprints and will soon dispatch them to deployed troops. 

Lockheed Martin and and Zygem Corp. Ltd. have developed a rapid DNA analysis platform, which they plan to release this summer to forensic, intelligence and homeland security communities.

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