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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


Defense Message System (DMS)

The Defense Message System (DMS) consists of all the hardware, software, procedures, personnel, and facilities required for electronic delivery of messages among organizations and individuals in the Department of Defense (DoD). This includes the full interoperability of tactically deployed users and interfaces with Allied systems. Each of the Military Services have developed their own DMS transition plans that incorporate all the requirements of the Joint Staff Multicommand Required Operational Capability (MROC) 3-88 and DMS Target Architecture and Implementation Strategy (TAIS). Change 2 to MROC 3-88 was published in October 1997 and now serves as the basis for all DMS projects and components including the TAIS, the DMS Concept of Operations, and Allied Communications Publication 123.

The national intelligence community also plans to utilize DMS, and hasestablished an office to implement DMS and ensure intelligence community interests are addressed.

DMS is an evolutionary program based on leading commercial products. Lockheed Martin Federal Systems led an industry team which was responsible for integrating many commercial products, among them Microsoft and Lotus, into a flexible, interoperable messaging environment.

The Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) has directed that DMS will replace the present Automated Digital Information Network-Telecommunication Center (AUTODIN-TCC) message delivery architecture. The Defense Information Systems Agency started the DMS program in 1988, and first tested the commercial-based messaging system in 1997. Since then DMS continued to improve performance and capability, and DMS 3.0 was approved for fielding in July 2002. Meanwhile, the AUTODIN backbone was downsized to three message-switching centers called DMS Transition Hubs (DTHs). On October 1, 2003, the DTHs were closed to general service (GENSER) messages. One of the DTHs, the continental U.S. hub, will operate as a National Gateway Center (together with the Pentagon Telecommunications System Center) and will continue to provide a gateway service between the Intelligence Community (IC) and GENSER communities. After DTH closure, the IC and several other user communities (e.g., small deck Navy ships, non-DoD Federal Departments, Allies, and defense contractors) will continue to operate their legacy messaging systems with the National Gateway Center to interface with the DMS world until they can transition to DMS.

The Defense Message System (DMS) enables anyone in DoD to exchange both classified and unclassified messages with anyone else in DoD using a secure, accountable, and reliable writer-to-reader messaging system. DMS supports organizational and individual messaging. DMS is intended to reduce the cost and manpower demands of the legacy Automatic Digital Network (AUTODIN) organizational messaging system. To replace AUTODIN, DMS must be implemented in more than 40,000 organizations at more than 700 sites worldwide and must support message exchanges with tactical forces, allies, other Federal Government users, and defense contractors. The DMS employs the latest commercial technology, supports Allied Communications Publication 120 (common security protocol required for all DoD message systems), and operates on the DoD Internet Protocol classified and unclassified networks. While today's security needs require using the international X.400 messaging standard and X.500 directory services standard, the DMS program expects to evolve toward more commercial Internet e-mail standards as they adopt security and support features capable of meeting military requirements.

The Defense Message System is comprised of User Agents (UAs), Message Transfer Agents (MTAs), Directory User Agents (DUAs), Directory System Agents (DSAs), and Mail List Agents (MLAs). Most of these are software programs that run on personal computers and provide the users with the capability to draft messages from a desktop computer that will be delivered directly to the addressees' desktop computer. No human intervention is involved. The MTA software will reside on a minicomputer because of the number of processes it must manage. These include the direction of traffic flow, information, and the delivery of non-receipt messages. This automated system will greatly increase speed of service and message accuracy while reducing manpower requirements and maintenance costs.

The Defense Message System (DMS) will not replace all the functionality AUTODIN provides today:

  • It is strictly a writer-to-reader message system (text messages)
  • Support for classified messaging may not be available until 2000
  • Will not support mission message traffic (e.g., computer-to-computer)

DMS is an architecture of Regional Nodes (RN) connected to distributed networks providing writer-to-reader messaging. RNs provide backbone messaging and directory services. Each RN is connected to NIPRNET, SIPRNET to provide SBU, SECRET, and TS collateral messaging; connected to other networks for other classification levels (e.g., JWICS for SCI). RNs monitored and controlled remotely by three Regional Control Centers: CONUS, Europe, Pacific.




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