Department of Defense

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Posted by r2d2 03/18/2009 @ 12:15

Tags : department of defense, white house, government, politics

News headlines
dod Identifies Army Casualties - US Department of Defense (press release)
The Department of Defense announced today the death of three soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died May 21 near Baghdad, Iraq of wound sustained when their unit was attacked by enemy forces using improvise explosive devices...
Pentagon Set for an Overhaul - Wall Street Journal
"Chief among the institutional challenges facing the department is acquisition," Mr. Gates said, citing "parochial interests" and "adversarial relationships within the Department of Defense and between Defense and other parts of the government....
Real Warriors Campaign, Department of Defense program seeks to ... -
Yesterday, the Department of Defense launched the Real Warriors Campaign, a multimedia, public education effort designed to combat the stigma keeping some service members and their families from seeking needed psychological care....
State Dept. to extend benefits to same-sex partners - OhMyGov!
Officials have previously cited the Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibits the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages, when pressed to expand these benefits to same-sex partners. The issue was brought into the public eye in 2007 when...
Lamiroult wins DoD award - Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base
by Airman Adawn Kelsey 5/21/2009 - SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- The Department of Defense selected Christopher Lamiroult for the 2009 Outstanding DoD Employee with a Disability Award, May 18. According to the award package, his accomplishments...
2010 DOD budget proposes increases for Navy, DARPA spending; Army ... - Military & Aerospace Electronics
Leaders of the US Department of Defense (DOD) are proposing modest increases in procurement and research spending for the US Navy, as well as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA, yet the US Air Force faces small reductions,...
MIT teams win US Department of Defense grants - MIT News
A pair of major grants from the US Department of Defense will support MIT research on building ultra-fast microchips for computation and communications, as well as research on new electronic surveillance systems. The grants, given out under a program...
New act improves on waste in defense contracts - Warrick Publishing
Specifically, it requires the Department of Defense (DoD) to track the cost growth and schedule changes that happen before Milestone B, the point in the process when systems development starts. This is critical because 75 percent of costs are locked in...
TOM PHILPOTT | Obama's CRDP Plan Would Help 103000 Disabled Retirees - Kitsap Sun
By Tom Philpott As reported here last week, President Obama has asked Congress to phase in "concurrent receipt" for all Chapter 61 retirees — those who received a disability retirement from the Department of Defense. This week we explain more details...
US Defense Dept. Information Systems CIO Opens Up On Shared IT - InformationWeek
By J. Nicholas Hoover The Department of Defense's Defense Information Systems Agency has always had a tall task: get all of the often competing military branches to buy into DISA as the hub of net-centric warfare and increasingly as a provider of...

Government Accountability Office investigations of the Department of Defense

Government Accountability Office investigations of the Department of Defense are typically audits in which the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the United States Congress’ investigative arm, studies how the Department of Defense spends taxpayer dollars. Since the GAO is accountable only to the legislative branch, it is in a unique position to investigate the military; no other agency can audit Federal departments with the same degree of independence from the President. However, the GAO is still subject to influence from powerful members of Congress.

Two examples of major GAO investigations in the 2000s were the audits of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Defense Department airline reimbursements.

GAO investigations into Operation Iraqi Freedom revealed a number of accounting problems, ranging from the mundane to the severe. Pay irregularities were a chronic problem. According to a GAO report cited in Computerworld, 450 of the 481 Army National Guard soldiers from six Special Forces units had at least one pay problem associated with their mobilization. The report found, "DOD’s inability to provide timely and accurate payments to these soldiers, many of whom risked their lives in recent Iraq or Afghanistan missions, distracted them from their missions, imposed financial hardships on the soldiers and their families and has had a negative impact on retention".

The investigation also uncovered questionable procurement arrangements with Halliburton. According to a United Press International article published in The Washington Times, the Kuwaiti-owned Timimmi Company had been serving hot meals to troops stationed in Iraq for $3 a meal. The contract was later reassigned to Halliburton, which raised the price to $5 a meal, subcontracted the meal services back out to Timimmi, and kept the 40% difference. GAO Analyst Neil Curtain exposed the problem in a Congressional hearing, noting, "Certainly that’s unfair to the taxpayer".

As the investigation into Iraqi Freedom progressed, it began turning up worse and worse procurement problems. GAO auditors caught the Department selling new chemical and biological protective garments on the Internet for $3 each. At the same time, the Pentagon was buying identical garments elsewhere for more than $200 apiece. Other accounting snafus resulted in the Army losing track of 56 airplanes, 32 tanks, and 36 Javelin missile command launch-units.

The GAO found that the waste encountered in Iraq is symptomatic of a wider inventory-control problem. More than 200 inventory-control systems at the Defense Department still are not integrated. The GAO notes, "Poor communication between services within the Department of Defense and improper accounting results in the disposal of needed spare parts and the purchase of duplicative parts worth millions of dollars".

A more recent GAO investigation revealed $100 million in wasted airline fees. The Associated Press notes that the Defense Department spent an estimated $100 million for airline tickets that were not used over six years and failed to seek refunds even though the tickets were reimbursable. The Department also reimbursed employees for airline tickets that had been purchased by the Department. To demonstrate how easy it was to have the Pentagon pay for airline travel, the investigators posed as Defense employees, had the department generate a ticket and showed up at the ticket counter to pick up a boarding pass.

The GAO also uncovered several incidences of airline-related fraud. One DOD traveler used a Department account number to pay for more than 70 airline tickets totaling more than $60,000. He then sold them at a discount to coworkers and family members for personal travel. Another employee admitted to "accidentally" claiming reimbursement for $10,000 worth of airline tickets that had been paid for by the Department.

There is evidence that GAO investigations are encouraging the Department to reform. The Halliburton contract was re-negotiated and assigned directly to Timimmi. And Dov Zakheim, chief financial officer for the Pentagon, said, "We are overhauling our financial management system precisely because people like David Walker are rightly critical of it".

These audits appear to have been more effective at prompting reform than the Defense Department’s own initiatives. In 1989, the Department began attempting to unify more than 2,000 overlapping systems used for billing, inventory, and personnel. But after spending $20 billion, the initiative was abandoned. Gregory Kutz, director of GAO’s financial management division, noted the Pentagon’s weak fiscal control over its subsidiaries – the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines – saying, "The Pentagon’s inability to even complete an audit shows just how far they have to go".

Scholars believe, however, that the GAO’s authority could be undermined in the wake of a landmark case, Walker vs. Cheney. This Federal lawsuit pertained to a GAO investigation into the Bush Administration’s Energy Task Force. Vice President Richard Cheney refused to disclose which individuals and groups met with the Task Force, prompting Walker to sue for the information in Federal court. In December 2002, the court ruled for Cheney.

Congressional pressure persuaded Walker to abandon appeals. Having vowed to "go to the mat," he originally planned to pursue the case further. But according to OMBWatch, "Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK), chairman of the Appropriations Committee, met with GAO Comptroller General David Walker earlier in the year, and sources have reported that sharp cuts in the GAO $440 million budget were threatened if the lawsuit was pursued further".

The GAO was designed to be independent, and Walker cites several factors insulating his agency from political pressure. In a Roll Call op-ed, he remarks, "To begin with, our location in the legislative branch gives us some distance from the executive branches we audit and oversee. Moreover, the head of GAO serves a 15-year term, which gives the agency a continuity of leadership that is rare in the federal government. . . . GAO’s independence is further safeguarded by the fact that its workforce consists of career civil servants hired on the basis of their knowledge, skill, and ability".

However, the GAO, like all federal agencies, is subject to Congress’ budgetary power. According to The Hill, "Walker did say . . . that several lawmakers have threatened in the past year to cut agency funding if it persisted with the controversial lawsuit. He also said the budget threat was among a number of factors that tipped his Feb. 7 decision to halt litigation".

It is difficult to tell whether curtailed GAO independence will threaten Defense Department reform. Some aspects of Defense Department accounting have resisted reform for decades. Danielle Brian, director of the nonprofit Project on Governmental Oversight, says, "Waste has become ingrained in the Defense budget because opposition to defense spending is portrayed as unpatriotic, and legislators are often more concerned about winning Pentagon pork than controlling defense waste".

But even Representatives who generally support Defense spending seem to be getting fed up with the problem. Representative Thomas M. Davis, R-Virginia, asked the Pentagon to present 11 documents relating to contracts in Iraq, among them papers that would prove whether Halliburton benefited from its association with Cheney. And Rep. John Duncan, R-Tenn., of the House Committee on Government Reform recently said, "I’ve always considered myself to be a pro-military type person, but that doesn’t mean I just want to sit back and watch the Pentagon waste billions and billions of dollars".

Supporters of the GAO investigations like to point out the disparity between the GAO budget and military expenses. The GAO’s Fiscal Year 2004 annual budget was $463.6 million. In contrast, GAO reports show that the Defense Department’s 2,200 overlapping financial systems cost $18 billion a year to operate.

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United States Department of Defense

United States Department of Defense Seal

The United States Department of Defense (DOD or DoD) is the federal department charged with coordinating and supervising all agencies and functions of the government relating directly to national security and the military. The organization and functions of the DOD are set forth in Title 10 of the United States Code.

The DOD is the major tenant of The Pentagon building near Washington, D.C., and has three major components – the Department of the Army, the Department of the Navy, and the Department of the Air Force. Among the many DOD agencies are the Missile Defense Agency, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Pentagon Force Protection Agency (PFPA), the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), and the National Security Agency (NSA). The department also operates several joint service schools, including the National War College.

During 1945, specific plans for the proposed DoD were put forth by the Army, the Navy, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In a special message to Congress on December 19, 1945, President Harry Truman proposed creation of a unified Department of National Defense. A proposal went to Congress in April 1946, but was held up by the Naval Affairs Committee hearings in July 1946, which raised objections to the concentration of power in a single department. Truman eventually sent new legislation to Congress in February 1947, where it was debated and amended for several months.

DoD was created in 1947 as a national military establishment with a single secretary as its head to preside over the former Department of War (founded in 1789) and Department of the Navy (founded in 1798; formerly the Board of Admiralty, founded in 1780). The Department of the Air Force was also created as a new service at the same time (it had been part of the War Department as the United States Army Air Force), and made part of DoD. DoD was created in order to reduce interservice rivalry which was believed to have reduced military effectiveness during World War II.

On July 26, 1947, Truman signed the National Security Act of 1947, which set up the National Military Establishment to begin operations on September 18, 1947, the day after the Senate confirmed James V. Forrestal as the first Secretary of Defense. The Establishment had the unfortunate abbreviation "NME" (the obvious pronunciation being "enemy"), and was renamed the "Department of Defense" (abbreviated as DOD or DoD) on August 10, 1949; in addition, the Secretary of Defense was given greater authority over three of the branches of the military (Army, Navy, and Air Force). Prior to the creation of the National Military Establishment / Department of Defense, the Armed Forces of the United States were separated into different cabinet-level departments without much central authority. The Marine Corps remained as a separate service under the Department of the Navy, and the Coast Guard remained in the Department of the Treasury, ready to be shifted to the Navy Department during time of declared war (as it was in both world wars).

The Department includes the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, as well as non-combat agencies such as the National Security Agency and the Defense Intelligence Agency. The DoD's annual budget was roughly $786 billion in 2007. This figure does not include tens of billions more in supplemental expenditures allotted by Congress throughout the year, particularly for the war in Iraq. It also does not include expenditures by the Department of Energy on nuclear weapons design and testing.

Civilian control over matters other than operations is exercised through the three service departments, the Department of the Army, the Department of the Navy (which includes the Marine Corps), and the Department of the Air Force. Each is led by a service secretary, who are below Cabinet rank.

In wartime, the Department of Defense has authority over the Coast Guard; in peacetime, that agency is under the control of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Prior to the creation of DHS, the Coast Guard was under the control of the Department of Transportation and earlier under the Department of the Treasury. According to the U.S. Code, the Coast Guard is at all times considered one of the five armed services of the United States. During times of declared war (or by Congressional direction), the Coast Guard operates as a part of the Navy; the service has not been under the auspices of Navy since World War II, but members have served in the undeclared wars and conflicts since then while the service remained in its peacetime department.

The Pentagon, in Arlington County, Virginia, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., is the headquarters of the Department of Defense. The Department of Defense is protected by the Pentagon Force Protection Agency which ensures law enforcement and security for The Pentagon and various other jurisdictions throughout the National Capital Region (NCR).

The command structure of the Department of Defense is defined by the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986 (PL 99-433), signed into law by President Ronald Reagan on October 1, 1986. The Act reworked the command structure of the United States military, introducing the most sweepin changes to the Department since it was established in the National Security Act of 1947. Under the act, the chain of command runs from the President of the United States, through the Secretary of Defense, to the combatant commanders (COCOM) who command all military forces within their area of responsibility. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the service Chiefs of Staff are responsible for readiness of the U.S. military and serve as the President's military advisers, but are not in the chain of command. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is by law the highest ranking military officer in the United States. Each service is responsible for organizing, training and equipping military units for the commanders of the various Unified Combatant Commands.

The United States Naval Observatory falls under the Chief of Naval Operations. In 2003, the National Communications System was moved to the Department of Homeland Security, but only for executive purposes. The National Communications System still centralizes its activities within the Department of Defense, since the human resources required by NCS (example: Military Departments) still reside within the Department of Defense, or for retention of practical maintenance.

There are ten Unified Combatant Commands; six regional and four functional. United States Africa Command became initially operational in October 2007.

In 2007, a new geographical command for Africa was authorized. This proposed significant changes to the areas of responsibility for other adjacent geographical commands as shown in the accompanying graphic.

The United States and its closest allies are responsible for approximately two-thirds of global military spending (of which, in turn, the U.S. is responsible for the vast majority). Military spending accounts for 19% of the United States' federal budget, and approximately half of its federal discretionary spending, which comprises all of the U.S. government's money not accounted for by pre-existing obligations.

However, in terms of per capita spending, the U.S. ranks third behind Israel and Singapore.

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, in 2003 the United States spent approximately 47% of the world's total military spending of US $956,000,000,000.

As a percentage of its GDP, the United States spends 4.06% on military, ranking it 28th in the world. This is higher by percent than France's 2.6%, and lower than Saudi Arabia's 10%. This 3.7% is low relative to the United States' past 60-some years.

Also, since it is an all-volunteer force and since most jobs within it require high degrees of technical skill and personnel retention, the United States armed forces have dramatically higher personnel costs, both military and civilian, compared to the militaries of countries which use conscription, many of which have far more troops than the United States. However, only China has more standing troops than the United States.

DoD's Energy Conservation Investment Program (ECIP) improves the energy and water efficiency of existing Military Services' facilities. The program's projects help the Military Services save on energy usage and cost. . The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provided $120 million for the ECIP.

Also the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 has given money for the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Army Reserve, Navy Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Army National Guard and Air National Guard facilities to invest in energy efficiency.

On February 26, 2002, the Department of Defense Office of the Inspector General has reported that DOD has not and will not account for $1.1 trillion of "unsupported accounting entries". In addition, there have been several high-profile Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigations of the Department of Defense.

The GAO is also interested in ways DOD can partner with other government agencies to save money and create efficiencies. One way was through use of the Veterans Administration's Consolidated Mail Outpatient Pharmacy (CMOP) program. The CMOP fills continuation of therapy or refill prescriptions only. Initial prescriptions are written for veterans at one of the Veteran Administration’s health care facilities. When a refill is needed, the heath care facilities process the prescriptions. The CMOP then uploads this information from multiple facilities in its region. Once filled, the United States Postal Service (USPS) delivers the prescriptions. The health care facility or clinic is notified of the prescription’s completion electronically. As of 2000, the annual workload was near 50 million prescriptions. Processing and filling prescriptions took two days; three more days were required for mail delivery.

The DOD and VA conducted a pilot program in FY 2003. In its 2005 report, GAO-05-555, the GAO found that the DOD could generate savings because CMOP's size allows it to negotiate volume discounts. The CMOP program is now serving the entire country from a number of locations including West Los Angeles, California; Bedford, Massachusetts; Dallas, Texas; Hines, Illinois, Charleston, South Carolina; Leavenworth, Kansas; and Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

The military's analysis of the missile strike on a dead U.S. spy satellite has revealed no sign of danger from debris, including no hazard from the satellite's fuel tank, a Pentagon spokesman said February 22, 2008.The launched missile successfully destroyed the fuel tank of an inoperable spy satellite, U.S. military officials said February 25, 2008.

In fall 2006 the U.S. Defense Department accidentally shipped ballistic missile components instead of helicopter batteries to Taiwan, it was reported on March 25, 2008. The parts were 1960s technology, designed for use with Minuteman ballistic missiles. The missile components were first shipped from F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming to Hill Air Force Base in Utah in 2005.

On April 20, 2008, The New York Times published an exposé accusing the U.S. Department of Defense of running a propaganda "message machine" to spread the administration's talking points on Iraq by briefing retired military commanders for network television and cable television appearances, where they were presented as independent analysts.

To meet the growing demands in the Middle East and around the world, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates proposed to President Bush to increase the overall size of the military by approximately 92,000 troops over the course of five years. Specifically, the proposal calls for an Army troop cap of 545,000 to 550,000 active duty soldiers and a troop cap of 202,000 active duty Marines. The total active duty force of the United States after the buildup will be about 1,479,000. There have also been calls to increase the sizes of the other branches of the military to match the increase in the Marines and Army.

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Department of Defense master clock

The Department of Defense master clock is the master clock to which time and frequency measurements for the United States Department of Defense are referenced.

The U.S. Naval Observatory master clock is designated as the DOD Master Clock. The U.S. Naval Observatory master clock is one of the two standard time and frequency references for the U.S. Government in accordance with Federal Standard 1002-A. The other standard time and frequency reference for the U.S. Government is the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) master clock.

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Department of Defense Architecture Framework

Illustration of the Integrated Architecture.[1]

The Department of Defense Architecture Framework (DoDAF) a reference model to organize the enterprise architecture (EA) and systems architecture into complementary and consistent views.

The DoDAF defines a set of products that act as mechanisms for visualizing, understanding, and assimilating the broad scope and complexities of an architecture description through graphic, tabular, or textual means.

It is especially suited to large systems with complex integration and interoperability challenges, and is apparently unique in its use of "operational views" detailing the external customer's operating domain in which the developing system will operate (reference: Zachman framework).

The Department of Defense Architecture Framework (DoDAF) provides a foundational framework for developing and representing architecture descriptions that ensure a common denominator for understanding, comparing, and integrating architectures across organizational, Joint, and multinational boundaries. It establishes data element definitions, rules, and relationships and a baseline set of products for consistent development of systems, integrated, or federated architectures. These architecture descriptions may include Families of Systems (FoSs), Systems of Systems (SoSs), and net-centric capabilities for interoperating and interacting in the NCE.

All major U.S. Government Department of Defense (DoD) weapons and information technology system acquisitions are required to develop and document an EA using the views prescribed in the DoDAF. While it is clearly aimed at military systems, DoDAF has broad applicability across the private, public and voluntary sectors around the world, and represents only one of a large number of systems architecture frameworks.

The first version of the development DoDAF was developed in the 1990s and was called C4ISR architectural Architecture Framework. C4ISR stand for The Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance. In the same period the development of a reference model TAFIM started. The first Architecture Framework v1.0, released 7 June 1996, was created in response to the passage of the Clinger-Cohen Act. It addressed in the 1995 Deputy Secretary of Defense directive that a DoD-wide effort be undertaken to define and develop a better means and process for ensuring that C4ISR capabilities were interoperable and met the needs of the warfighter. Continued development effort resulted in December 1997 in the second version C4ISR Architecture Framework v2.0.

In August 2003 the DoDAF v1.0 was released, which restructured the C4ISR Framework v2.0 to offer guidance, product descriptions, and supplementary information in two volumes and a Desk Book. It broadened the applicability of architecture tenets and practices to all Mission Areas rather than just the C4ISR community. This document addressed usage, integrated architectures, DoD and Federal policies, value of architectures, architecture measures, DoD decision support processes, development techniques, analytical techniques, and the CADM v1.01, and moved towards a repository-based approach by placing emphasis on architecture data elements that comprise architecture products.

In February 2004 the documentation of Version 1.0 was released with volume "I: Definitions and Guidelines", "II: Product Descriptions" and a "Deskbook". In April 2007 the Version 1.5 was released with a documentation of "Definitions and Guidelines", "Product Descriptions" and "Architecture Data Description".

Each view depicts certain perspectives of an architecture as described below. Only a subset of the full DoDAF viewset is usually created for each system development. The figure represents the information that links the operational view, systems and services view, and technical standards view. The three views and their interrelationships driven – by common architecture data elements – provide the basis for deriving measures such as interoperability or performance, and for measuring the impact of the values of these metrics on operational mission and task effectiveness.

DoDAF v1.0 listed the following products as the “minimum set of products required to satisfy the definition of an OV, SV and TV.” One note: while the DoDAF does not list the OV-1 artifact as a core product, its development is strongly encouraged. The sequence of the artifacts listed below gives a suggested order in which the artifacts could be developed. The actual sequence of view generation and their potential customization is a function of the application domain and the specific needs of the effort.

One concern about the DoDAF is how well these products meet actual stakeholder concerns for any given system of interest. One can view DoDAF products, or at least the 3 views, as ANSI/IEEE 1471-2000 or ISO/IEC 42010 viewpoints. But to build an architecture description that corresponds to ANSI/IEEE 1471-2000 or ISO/IEC 42010, it is necessary to clearly identify the stakeholders and their concerns that map to each selected DoDAF product. Otherwise there is the risk (seen in at least some DoDAF architecture efforts) of producing products with no customers.

DoDAF generically describes in the representation of the artifacts to be generated, but allows considerable flexibility regarding the specific formats and modeling techniques. The DoDAF deskbook provides examples in using traditional systems engineering and data engineering techniques, and secondly, UML format. DoDAF proclaims latitude in work product format, without professing one diagramming technique over another.

In addition to graphical representation, there is typically a requirement to provide metadata to the Defense Information Technology Portfolio Repository (DITPR) or other architectural repositories.

The UPDM (UML Profile for DoDAF and MODAF) is an OMG initiative to standardize UML and SysML usage for USA and UK defense architecture frameworks. In addition, the multi-national IDEAS Group, which is supported by Australia, Canada, UK, USA, with NATO observers, has launched an initiative to develop a formal ontology for enterprise architectures.

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Source : Wikipedia