Lt. Gen. Bruce Crawford, chief information officer of the U.S. Army, discusses modernizing the branch’s networks and the CIO Office’s interactions with Army Futures Command.
The Army’s six modernization priorities are behind every technology decision made at the branch right now. Administration of the service’s computer networks is no different. Lt. Gen. Bruce Crawford, Chief Information Officer at the U.S. Army says that the Army is pursuing enterprise-wide cloud computing, and that the groundwork has already been laid by the other armed services. “Our partners in the Navy started exploring this option probably about 20 or 25 years ago. Recently I would say over the last 24 months the Air Force has started to look at this. If you go back about 24 months the Army put a lot energy on modernizing the tactical and capability that we are putting in the hands of soldiers, because readiness was the number one priority and remains number one, that was our focus,” Crawford tells Government Matter. “General Fogarty and I, and he absolutely is my number one partner, but we are also synced with the network cross-functional team and Futures Command as we start to look at the enterprise.” “The reason you have enterprise is really to enable the tactical edge. A lot of people want to pull out their iPhones and say ‘Hey this is what a soldier wants.’ But the reason you can have all the capability on your device is because there’s been a significant investment in the enterprise,” Crawford said. “All the complexity is at the enterprise so that you can walk with basically the equivalent of a supercomputer in your hand. General Fogarty and I are partnering on a similar effort in terms of the army’s enterprise.” Crawford told Government Matters that G6 is working very closely with Army Futures Command, and are sharing technical expertise in support of the mission. “For the very first time you are going to have one organization whose sole focus and life is modernization, and I think that’s a good thing. So where do we partner? You’ve heard about the six modernization priorities. Long-range precision powers, next generation combat vehicles, future vertical lift. The network is one, air and missile defense and then soldier lethality. As you start to think about the depth and scope of each one of those, every one of them have one big thing in common. They all are going to rely heavily on the network,” Crawford said. “We’ve got a network cross-functional team, Maj. Gen. Pete Gallagher leads that effort and I can tell you I probably spend more time with Gen. Gallagher now that he is at Futures Command than when he was one of our generals on the Army staff. All of that to say, there’s absolutely no daylight between us, and I think we’ve got probably as good of a relationship as we’ve ever had.”