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Want More Info on the Military’s Ebola Efforts? Tune in Here Thursday

By Bob Brewin // October 27, 2014

Members of the Department of Defense's Ebola Military Medical Support Team go through special training at San Antonio Military Medical Center.
Members of the Department of Defense's Ebola Military Medical Support Team go through special training at San Antonio Military Medical Center. // Eric Gay/AP

The Defense Department’s DOD News Channel -- known as the Pentagon Channel until this July -- plans a live broadcast with top leaders this Thursday on ongoing support operations to help battle the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and at home.

The channel is broadcast to 2.6 million people, primarily military users via broadcast TV, satellite, cable and Web streaming.

Until Thursday, surf your way to the Pentagon’s Ebola website for the latest news and updates on the military's Ebola response.

Irony Alert: Booz Allen Wins Cybersecurity Contract

By Bob Brewin // October 23, 2014

Christopher Lane/AP

Booz Allen Hamilton won yesterday a $6.6 million task order for continued support to the Defense Department’s Chief Information Officer Cybersecurity and Information Assurance Support program through Sept. 30, 2015.

It goes to show that Defense has no hard feelings toward Booz Allen even though one of its employees, Edward Snowden, used his position to pilfer and distribute an unprecedented number of highly sensitive intelligence documents.

So, How Do I Get Onto the VA eBenefits Site?

By Bob Brewin // October 22, 2014

Iraq war veteran Dave Walker uses his computer.
Iraq war veteran Dave Walker uses his computer. // Carolyn Kaster/AP

That's what I asked Department of Veterans Affairs Chief Information Officer Stephen Warren at his media roundtable yesterday, as I have been frustrated for months as I try to get past the first screens on the eBenefits website intended to make it easier and quicker for vets for apply for benefits and VA to process the claims.

The eBenefits site seems designed to frustrate Vietnam veterans who do not have a CAC, short for Common Access Card, or a Defense self-service log-on, known as a DS log-on.

Here’s the screen users see when they try to register:

Since none of the above applies to me, I can go no further in the registration process. There’s a phone number to call for help from a live human -- if one ever answered the phone.

I’m a pretty good Web surfer, and I doubt I'm the only Vietnam veteran frustrated by the eBenefits website.

Warren said he’ll have someone walk me through the process – which I can then share with other veterans who do not have CACs or a DS log-on.

VA Introduces 'Google-like' Medical Record Search Functions

By Bob Brewin // October 21, 2014

Andrei Orlov/Shutterstock.com

The Department of Veterans Affairs has started to roll out “Google-like” search functions for patient medical records, VA CIO Stephen Warren said at a press briefing today.

Warren said the new user interface of the Health Management Platform, which supports search across an entire patient record, has been installed at VA medical facilities in Hampton Roads, Virgina; San Antonio, Texas; San Diego; and Loma Linda, California.

The interface also supports a newsfeed that provides a rapid chronological review of a patient’s care and also includes medication reviews for enhanced safety, Warren said.

(Image via Andrei Orlov/Shutterstock.com)

Intelink Sets Up Ebola Website

By Bob Brewin // October 20, 2014

A medical worker sprays people being discharged from the Island Clinic Ebola treatment center in Monrovia, Liberia.
A medical worker sprays people being discharged from the Island Clinic Ebola treatment center in Monrovia, Liberia. // Jerome Delay/AP File Photo

Intelink -- the word used to describe a whole bunch of intelligence community intranets -- has set up an open source and unclassified website on the Ebola crisis worldwide.

The daily Intelink Ebola feed is carried by the All Partners Access Network, run by the Defense Information Systems Agency. APAN is a collection of communities developed to foster information and knowledge sharing between the U.S. Defense Department and non-DOD entities who do not have access to traditional DOD networks.

APAN also offers links to the daily Operation United Assistance – the name for the DOD response in West Africa – unclassified intelligence summary that goes beyond scraping open source news reports and drills down to specific problems, such as flooded roads in parts of Liberia that hinder medical missions.

To access either of the above, go to the APAN home page, type “Ebola” into the community search bar, which then hops to the Ebola Response Network, and another click leads to daily intelligence summaries.

Now, someone needs to come up a really good filter to find the best and most relevant information from the growing number of Ebola websites.