DEFENSE MESSAGE SYSTEM-ARMY HAS NETCENTRIC ASPIRATIONS
06 Jan 05. Exciting changes are rapidly occurring within the Defense Message System-Army (DMS-ARMY) Program as it forges ahead to the future of organizational messaging — Product Manager, (PM) DMS-ARMY is working on a plan to recapitalize the current DMS-ARMY architecture. The major focus is on transforming DMS-ARMY into a network-centric operation, enabling Army Enterprise Warfighting support capabilities.
From the outset, DMS was established by the Department of Defense and the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) as a means to replace the aging Automatic Digital Network (AUTODIN) with a standards based, secure, modern, writer to reader Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) messaging system. Further, DMS had to reduce costs to Services and Defense agencies to improve message communications and responsiveness to mission requirements. This had to be accomplished in accordance with requirements established by the Joint Chiefs of Staff as set forth in the DMS Multi-command Required Operational Capabilities (MROC) 3-88 Change 2. This document helped to establish DMS as DOD’s Official System of Record for Organizational Messaging, used extensively at the Joint Level and Combatant Commands supporting real missions.
Prior to implementing DMS, DOD messaging consisted of two types; organizational, using High Grade FORTEZZA based Public Knowledge Infrastructure (PKI), which employs the PC card containing cryptographic algorithms, keys and related functions developed under the Information Assurance Security Program (IASP); and individual, using Medium Grade Common Access Card (CAC) based DOD PKI. The first functionally covered official messages from one organization to another which commits the sending organization, provides orders or direction to the receiving organization, or contains other officially recognized traffic. This type of messaging is used to exercise command and control (C2). Individual messaging included working communications between individuals within administrative channels, both internal and external to the specific organization. For all intents and purposes, DMS basically concentrates on organizational messaging.
For the DOD, DMS merges existing and planned organizational electronic messaging, individual electronic messaging, and electronic mail (e-mail) solutions into a single messaging system. Essentially, it is a managed e-mail system to ensure delivery and traceability via a set of applications based on international standards (X.400/X.500) to ensure interoperability. It is required to meet non-repudiation, digital signature, and confidentiality through digital encryption. It provides guaranteed delivery, message storage, and message trace capabilities. To emphasize, the program is structured to provide seamless, and secure writer-to-reader electronic messaging system for both organizational and individual users using security, authentication, accountability, and Global Integrated Directory Service.
As it stands today, it takes more than 65 Local Control Centers (LCCs) worldwide to implement DMS-ARMY along with the people required to man and support these centers. PM DMS-ARMY is actively planning and engineering a modern, enterprise based DMS architecture that will greatly reduce the numbers of LCCs into a select few. After consolidation, they become Area Control Centers (ACCs) which will consist of 30 – 40 DMS servers. In addition to consolidating from many sites to a small few, possibly, DMS clients will migrate from a Microsoft DMS FORTEZZA-based client to a web-based client, using the common access card (CAC) for authentication, non-repudiation, and data protection between the user and a Proxy device. The beauty of this solution is that FORTEZZA will be moved off the User’s desktop to a central server and the CAC will be used as the means for authentication and access to DMS. FORTEZZA will be rendered transparent to t