Common Guidance

By Tony Bertuca / November 3, 2010 at 6:32 PM

The Army today officially released guidance for a "common operating environment architecture" it will use to tie its stovepiped network together.

As reported in this week's issue of Inside the Army, Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Chiarelli announced the COE effort Oct. 26 during the Association of the U.S. Army's annual meeting.

"The network represents our number one modernization effort," he said. "One of the most significant challenges we face is interoperability. It's not enough to simply achieve a variety of separate capabilities working alongside each other independently -- or worse -- in conflict with one another. It must be symbiotic."

Chiarelli said the COE would be released later that day, but it was delayed until this morning. The announcement from the service's CIO-G6 states that the COE guidance was officially approved Oct. 20.

The announcement also states the Army will publish a complementary implementation plan in early 2011 that will describe the steps and schedule for bringing Army systems into compliance with the CEO.

"In order to obtain funding for developing and acquiring IT devices or systems, all programs under the Army Acquisition Executive will need to comply with the COE guidance and plan," according to the statement. "The COE Architecture and the Army's overarching 'End State' Architecture will drastically reduce the time it takes to deliver relevant applications to those who need them. The COE augments Army Software Transformation, an effort to standardize end-user environments and software development kits, establish streamlined enterprise software processes that rely on common pre-certified, reusable software components, and develop deployment strategies that allow users direct access to new capability."

The benefits of a COE architecture are lower costs, improved inter-interoperability and easier system maintenance, according to the Army.