Abound on Mobile Horizon, CIO Says
By Amaani Lyle, American Forces
Washington D.C. – (AFPS)
– February 27, 2014 – The Pentagon’s chief information officer today discussed
the vast opportunities mobile computing provides and its critical role in
improving support for the Defense Department’s 600,000 mobile device users.
During the 4th annual MobileGov Summit at the Newseum here,
Teresa M. Takai said operational mobility pilot programs are a success story
across the Defense Department’s components. “The goal is to ensure the
warfighter has access to information, anywhere, any time, on any device, and the
DOD is making progress in achieving this goal,” she said. “These pilots allow
DOD to gather lessons learned, identify cost reductions and improve productivity.”
Takai cited an example of mobility pilot program success in
the Air Force’s electronic flight bag program.
“This electronic information management system is an iPad
loaded with mobile applications, … and it replaces paper-based reference
materials that can weigh between 30 and 110 pounds,” she explained, adding that
hard-copy navigational charts and flight manuals soon could be obsolete as a
The electronic flight bag, she noted, can host applications to automate other
functions, such as performance and takeoff calculations.
“This will allow flight crews to perform flight management
tasks more easily and efficiently, with less paper -- all while increasing
security and efficiencies,” Takai said. Not only could the EFB program amount to
about $1 million annually in fuel by reducing the weight of paper-based
reference materials, she added, but new layers of security and encryption can
augment protection of data.
The Air Force’s Air Mobility Command is deploying about
18,000 devices as part of the program and will allow each squadron to customize
applications tailored for its specific mission. “By December 2014,” Takai said,
“more than 10,000 Air Mobility Command EFBs will be able to access this
Progress also includes improving the way in which
certification occurs for mobile devices to operate on DOD networks, she reported.
So far, the latest Apple, Android and Blackberry operating systems have been
approved, with the green light pending for Microsoft devices. But challenges
remain, such as considering how to effectively vet new applications and how to
better control network access, Takai said.
“The idea is to adapt DOD software and data sources to enable
mobile applications and design cloud-based services that will support
disconnected scenarios,” she explained.
Plans also include tapping into established national
information exchange data models and using common mobile application development
frameworks, the CIO said.
Partnership with industry, Takai told the conferees, also
will be a critical part of DOD’s overall shift to mobile computing. “We hope to
see increased industry participation in DOD’s security standards, vetting tools
and processes,” she said.
(Follow Amaani Lyle on Twitter: @LyleAFPS) :
Teresa M. Takai
Special Report: Science and Technology
Information Access Equals Mission Success, CIO Says