Pentagon Unveils Plan To Tap Potential Of Mobile Devices - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Pentagon Unveils Plan To Tap Potential Of Mobile Devices

Posted: Updated:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon unveiled a plan on Tuesday to ultimately enable the Defense Department's 600,000 users of smartphones, computer tablets and other mobile devices to rapidly share classified and protected data using the latest commercial technologies.

The system aims to quickly enable the latest technologies to be securely used by the military while remaining "device agnostic," said Major General Robert Wheeler, a Defense Department deputy chief information officer.

That sets the stage for an intensified struggle for Pentagon customers among BlackBerry devices, Apple's iPhones or iPads, and units using Google's Android platform.

The Defense Department currently has more than 600,000 mobile device users, including 470,000 with BlackBerries, 41,000 who have Apple operating systems, and 8,700 who use Android devices.

The new plan will result in the use of a much wider variety of mobile devices across the military. Currently most devices using Apple and Google platforms are in pilot or test programs, officials said.

Few commercial devices are used for classified communications, whereas the new system aims to bolster security of commercially available devices so they can be used for classified information, they said.

Wheeler said the implementation plan aimed to ensure that mobile devices, wireless infrastructure and mobile applications remain "reliable, secure and flexible enough to keep up with the fast-changing technologies of today."

He said the department has a broad range of mobile device users, from the chairman and planners on the Joint Chiefs of Staff to policymakers and soldiers on the battlefield, all of whom would be affected by the implementation plan.

The military services would decide which devices to buy and provide to users based on need. The system would not initially enable an individual service member to purchase their own mobile devices and use them on the Pentagon's networks, but that is a longer-range goal if security can be assured, officials said.

The plan is a step toward implementing the "mobility strategy" the Pentagon released last June. The strategy aims to use smartphone, tablet and other mobile technologies to improve information sharing and collaboration across the department.

The plan aims to "align the various mobile devices, pilots and initiatives across the department under common objectives to ensure the war fighter benefits from these activities," Teri Takai, the Pentagon's chief information officer, said in a statement.

"This is not simply about embracing the newest technology - it is about keeping the department's workforce relevant in an era when information accessibility and cybersecurity play a critical role in missions," she said.

As part of the implementation plan, the department has asked companies to submit proposals for creating a mobile device management platform and an applications store where users can get the programs they need for their devices.

The mobile device management platform would need a number of security features, such detecting malware and enabling officials to remotely delete data from the device, according to documents outlining the plan.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • NEW INFORMATION: High Drive brush fire believed to be human caused

    NEW INFORMATION: High Drive brush fire believed to be human caused

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 1:58 PM EDT2014-07-30 17:58:17 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash.- Tuesday evening the Spokane Fire department announced they had a likely cause for the High Drive brush fire: humans. The fire broke out Monday afternoon about 3pm on the west side of Spokane's South Hill between Qualchan Golf Course and High Drive. By 6pm it had grown to 30 acres and moved to within 75 yards of several homes on High Drive.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash.- Tuesday evening the Spokane Fire department announced they had a likely cause for the High Drive brush fire: humans. The fire broke out Monday afternoon about 3pm on the west side of Spokane's South Hill between Qualchan Golf Course and High Drive. By 6pm it had grown to 30 acres and moved to within 75 yards of several homes on High Drive.>>
  • PHOTOS JUST IN: Devastation from Carlton Complex; 300 homes burned

    PHOTOS JUST IN: Devastation from Carlton Complex; 300 homes burned

    Saturday, July 26 2014 12:07 AM EDT2014-07-26 04:07:59 GMT
    TWISP, Wash. (AP) - The Okanogan County Sheriff says the Carlton Complex wildfire has many more homes than previously thought. Sheriff Frank Rogers said Friday that the Carlton Complex fire has consumed about 300 homes this month. His office previously placed the number at 150, but he said then he knew it would rise.>>
    TWISP, Wash. (AP) - The Okanogan County Sheriff says the Carlton Complex wildfire has many more homes than previously thought. Sheriff Frank Rogers said Friday that the Carlton Complex fire has consumed about 300 homes this month. His office previously placed the number at 150, but he said then he knew it would rise.>>
  • WILDFIRE WATCH 2014: DNR tackling new wildfire near Tonasket

    WILDFIRE WATCH 2014: DNR tackling new wildfire near Tonasket

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 3:03 PM EDT2014-07-30 19:03:06 GMT
    TONASKET, Wash.- The Department of Natural Resources says they are battling a new wildfire northeast of Wauconda and Tonasket. The fire broke out on Tuesday, July 29th and is called the "Torado Mountain" wildfire. DNR crews are attacking this fire from the ground and air.
    >>
    TONASKET, Wash.- The Department of Natural Resources says they are battling a new wildfire northeast of Wauconda and Tonasket. The fire broke out on Tuesday, July 29th and is called the "Torado Mountain" wildfire. DNR crews are attacking this fire from the ground and air.
    >>
  • National NewsMore>>

  • Hamas agrees to 24-hour holiday truce in Gaza war

    Hamas agrees to 24-hour holiday truce in Gaza war

    Sunday, July 27 2014 10:36 AM EDT2014-07-27 14:36:04 GMT
    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) - Hamas says it has agreed to a 24-hour humanitarian truce in the Gaza war ahead of a major Muslim holiday. Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the truce would go into effect at 2 p.m. Sunday. The three-day Eid al-Fitr holiday, which caps the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, is expected to begin Monday or Tuesday, depending on the sighting of the new moon.>>
    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) - Hamas says it has agreed to a 24-hour humanitarian truce in the Gaza war ahead of a major Muslim holiday. Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the truce would go into effect at 2 p.m. Sunday. The three-day Eid al-Fitr holiday, which caps the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, is expected to begin Monday or Tuesday, depending on the sighting of the new moon.>>
  • Dutch: 1st victim identified from Flight 17

    Dutch: 1st victim identified from Flight 17

    Saturday, July 26 2014 5:55 PM EDT2014-07-26 21:55:02 GMT
    THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) - The Dutch government says the first victim has been identified from the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 disaster.The name and sex of the victim, a Dutch national, weren't released. The government said Saturday the next of kin and mayor of the victim's hometown have been informed.>>
    THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) - The Dutch government says the first victim has been identified from the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 disaster.The name and sex of the victim, a Dutch national, weren't released. The government said Saturday the next of kin and mayor of the victim's hometown have been informed.>>
  • 3 rockets hit Israel as Hamas rejects Gaza truce

    3 rockets hit Israel as Hamas rejects Gaza truce

    Saturday, July 26 2014 5:19 PM EDT2014-07-26 21:19:11 GMT
    JERUSALEM (AP) - The Israeli military says three rockets have been fired from Gaza at Israel despite a proposed extension of a humanitarian truce in the Gaza war.Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the group rejected Israel's proposal to extend an original 12-hour lull by four hours, until midnight Saturday.>>
    JERUSALEM (AP) - The Israeli military says three rockets have been fired from Gaza at Israel despite a proposed extension of a humanitarian truce in the Gaza war.Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the group rejected Israel's proposal to extend an original 12-hour lull by four hours, until midnight Saturday.>>