The Army is pursuing a joint information technology (IT) effort with the Air Force, according to the Army’s information czar.

Army Chief Information Officer/G-6 Lt. Gen. Susan Lawrence said yesterday she briefed Air Force Space Command (AFSPC) chief Gen. William Shelton about a security cloud architecture the Army is building. Lawrence said she wants to partner with the Air Force on this architecture to maximize value instead of having each service pursue individual efforts.

Army CIO/G-6 Lt. Gen. Susan Lawrence. Photo: Army.

Lawrence, who made her remarks at an Association of the United States Army (AUSA) Institute for Land Warfare breakfast in Arlington, Va., said she met with Shelton June 21 to discuss a possible joint effort.

“He’s excited about joining us,” Lawrence said. “He thinks it’s the right way ahead and what we hope to do is help the (other) services to join us as well so we build this truly joint environment.”

Lawrence also said it’s time to get away from hardware. Using DoD’s Joint Information Environment (JIE), which the Pentagon describes as the ability to deliver data to military and civilian personnel wherever and whenever they need it, Lawrence said the Army should be able to go into a new area and immediately establish a data exchange. JIE is formally described as a robust and resilient enterprise that delivers faster, better informed collaboration and decisions enabled by secure, seamless access to information regardless of computing device or location (Defense Daily, April 17).

“What we want is to be able to do is go to a programmable software environment,” Lawrence said. “Then we can share information with whoever we’re fighting with.”

Lawrence said part of the problem with hardware is that there are so many different networks, and if you go into a new area, you have to build, yet another, network.

Lawrence said the Army and the other services are working with Pentagon CIO Teri Takai to plan for a joint future in information sharing in an era of tightening defense budgets.