The military’s plan to create a single, secure information-sharing environment for all the services finally is taking shape. After much talk and planning, the U.S. Defense Department’s Joint Information Environment (JIE) now is being built with its first component reaching initial operational capability this summer.
“The JIE is not coming, it is here,” said Lt. Gen. Mark S. Bowman, USA, director, command, control, communications and computers (C4)/cyber, and chief information officer (CIO) for the Joint Staff and J-6/CIO. Details of the JIE’s launch and what it will mean for the military, as described by Gen. Bowman and other top Defense Department officials, were the main focus of the AFCEA International Northern Virginia Chapter’s 6th Annual Joint Warfighter IT Day, “Leveraging Technology to Achieve Force Dominance Across the Services,” held in McLean, Virginia, on September 12.
The European part of the JIE, known as Increment One, reached its initial operating capability on July 1, Gen. Bowman said. Work is ongoing to further broaden Increment One capabilities and systems for the U.S. European Command. The three areas where work is under way are network consolidation, enterprise capabilities and applications, and enhancing cyber operations security, he said.
Two other JIE increments are next. They will cover the U.S. Pacific Command and operations in the continental United States. Although work now is under way and a schedule is in place, it is only a draft schedule and is subject to change, explained Robert J. Carey, principal deputy CIO, Defense Department. The march to setting an overall baseline for the JIE will follow a set of linked events across the Defense Department enterprise that will progress as funds and time allow. Citing the tentativeness of the schedule, Carey would not provide further details about the next two increments, but he noted that the effort’s progress and activity will ramp up significantly in 2014.