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Current Article - "Another Day That Will Live In Infamy"
by Terry Damon,
September 11, 2001

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Another Day That Will Live In Infamy
by Terry M. Damon - September 11, 2001

All,

    This has been a very sad and trying day.  It's going to take a while for things to get sorted out and I think we're going to see several significant changes in "the way of life" resulting from it.  I spoke with the AUTODIN controllers on several occasions today and, in case anyone had any doubts, that 40-year old network was doing its job just as efficiently as it has for those 40 years.  There was a large number of flash traffic in the system (as you might expect) and it was getting delivered on a very timely basis.   Unlike the voice world, we didn't have a bunch of circuits flowing through the World Trade Center.  And although the Pentagon was evacuated, the circuits appeared to remain up.  Not that it matters, because once they evacuated, they requested we altroute their traffic to Site XX.

    Again, a very sick world but a communications system in place ready to handle the crisis.  Hopefully this will result in a serious evaluation of the DoD's requirements for messaging. 

    Thanks to many of you for providing us with the best.  It's my privilege to say it's still doing the job.

I'm just an individual like everyone else.  My career has been my love and my life and that has been AUTODIN since I went through Tech School in 1966.  I did nothing to get it here and I feel very inadequate in keeping it here, where in my heart and soul, I know it belongs.  We cannot have our command and control traffic, to say nothing about intel, flowing over an open system.
 
    I don't want to be one of those individuals making decisions that really do have a life and death impact.  I want to be the individual that says we have the system in place to get you the data to support those decisions and that data is not subject to denial of service, non-authentication, or of being changed from what was input.  The new technology is great and certainly has a place in this world.  Look at the ALP web site as an example.  But let's not confuse off-the-shelf hardware/software/firmware with a dedicated system that has but multiple purposes.  Yes, secure communications is certainly high on that list, but interoperability in today's world is a must.  DMS is making this a very difficult challenge because most other nations that are going to an X.400 based system are maintaining the Routing Indicator (RI) concept as opposed to Plain Language Addresses and most non-DoD agencies are staying with the ACP-127 format.

    Anyway, thank you for not only all your efforts in bringing us AUTODIN, but for allowing me the opportunity to use this forum to "sound off".  I'm sure everyone out there feels the same frustration that I do about the events that occurred Tuesday and not being able to personally drive a stake into the heart of the savages involved.  We will avenge and we will wipe out this insanity.

    God bless the USA and God blessed us with AUTODIN.  May they both continue to shine and lead the way.

TERRY M. DAMON
DISA OP31 (Yep, another reorganization)
DISA AUTODIN Manager

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