Updated 13 Jun 2003

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  No. 413-03

Next-Generation Internet Protocol to Enable Net-Centric Operations

Implementation of the next-generation Internet protocol that will bring the Department of Defense closer to its goal of net-centric warfare and operations was announced today by John P. Stenbit, assistant secretary of defense for networks and information integration and DoD chief information officer.


The new Internet protocol, known as IPv6, will facilitate integration of the essential elements of DoD’s Global Information Grid -- its sensors, weapons, platforms, information and people.  Secretary Stenbit is directing the DoD-wide transition.


The current version of the Internet’s operating system, IPv4, has been in use by DoD for almost 30 years.  Its fundamental limitations, along with the world-wide explosion of Internet use, inhibit net-centric operations.  IPv6 is designed to overcome those limitations by expanding available IP address space, improving end-to-end security, facilitating mobile communications, enhancing quality of service and easing system management burdens.


“Enterprise-wide deployment of IPv6 will keep the warfighter secure and connected in a fast-moving battlespace,” Secretary Stenbit said.  “Achievement of net-centric operations and warfare depends on effectively implementing the transition.”


Secretary Stenbit signed a policy memorandum on June 9 that outlines a strategy to ensure an integrated, timely and effective transition.  A key element of the transition minimizes future transition costs by requiring that, starting in October 2003, all network capabilities purchased by DoD be both IPv6-capable and interoperable with the department’s extensive IPv4 installed base.