Wayland, MA, January 03, 2002 – The Open GIS Consortium, Inc. (OGC) announced today that TASC, a business unit of Northrop Grumman's Information Technology (IT) sector has upgraded its OGC membership to the Strategic level. By this action, the company affirms its strong commitment to the OGC vision for geospatial interoperability.TASC will engage in strategic planning as a member of both the OGC Planning Committee and as a member of the newly formed OGC Strategic Advisory Committee. The company will continue to participate in OGC Technical Committee programs to collaboratively define and approve spatial interface specifications that support interoperability. TASC supports a variety of customers whose central mission is to provide geospatial and intelligence services worldwide. The company believes that the implementation of open interface specifications will give customers improved product choice, greater ability to exploit data resources, rapid productivity gains, and improved capability for collaboration.To assist the OGC in meeting global spatial technology interoperability needs, TASC has assigned Jen Barmann as OGC Interoperability Program (IP) Deputy Director for Engineering. In this role, she will provide leadership and direction to major initiatives within the OGC Interoperability Program. The company will also contribute to the OGC Cross Member Evaluation and Conformance Testing Program. Northrop Grumman IT has already established the OGC Conformance, Configuration and Management Lab environment, which will become part of the OGC Network to be used as a reference implementation to manage and execute ongoing initiatives and testing activities.”We are committed to developing a strong collaborative partnership with the OGC to jointly fulfill a leadership role in harnessing Open GIS technology,” said Stu Shea, TASC vice president and director, Space Intelligence.”Working closely with OGC makes good business sense for us and our clients. We want to be a part of bringing the promise of spatial interoperability into the information technology framework,” said Robert F. Brammer, TASC Chief Technology Officer.OGC President David Schell commented, “We are very pleased to have Northrop Grumman IT, TASC among our strategic members. We feel that the company has played, and will continue to play, a key role in advancing interoperability. We are also thrilled with the company's decision to assign Ms. Barmann as a member of OGC staff. Her expertise and dedication will no doubt help OGC continue to advance the pace at which members establish and validate the geospatial interoperability demanded by users in the spatial and location services marketplace.Northrop Grumman Information Technology is a premier provider of advanced IT solutions, engineering and business services for government and commercial clients. Headquartered in Herndon, the company's expertise spans such areas as information systems integration; command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR); enterprise hardware and software solutions; training and simulation; base and range support; signals intelligence; space systems; health informatics; and specialized scientific, engineering and technical services. For more information, visit www.northropgrummanit.com .OGC is an international industry consortium of more than 225 companies, government agencies and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available geoprocessing specifications. OpenGIS® Specifications support interoperable solutions that “geo-enable” the Web and mainstream IT, and empower technology developers to make complex spatial information and services accessible and useful with all kinds of applications. Visit the OGC website at www.opengeospatial.org .– end –“