US Army, you have a message from US Navy

Military branches sign on to Bantu's cross-service IM system, with intelligence and DHS expected to join.

So this is what milspec IM looks like. No sending secret plans over the open Internet or ignoring messages from the base commander. Using Bantu's Inter-Domain Messaging Gateway, the Army, Navy and Air Force now have inter-service IM communications, Federal Computer Week reports.

And the intelligence agencies and Dept. of Homeland Security are expected to sign up Bantu, so that military, intelligence and DHS will all be able to communicate via IM. That sounds like an excellent end-run around the intractable problems of making each agency's legacy mainframe systems interoperable.

“Bantu creates a virtual real-time information-sharing network across the entire military, enabling faster and greater awareness and collaboration,” said Lt. Col. Joe Besselman, program director for the Air Force’s Global Combat Support Systems and the Air Force Portal, in a statement.

IDM gateway is policy-driven and enforces role-based access for users, Schlang said. The system automatically populates users’ contact lists with appropriate people in their chain of command and communities of interest.

According to Bantu, the system can carry communications via the military’s sensitive and secret networks.