Joint Forces adopting NMCI infrastructure

U.S. Joint Forces Command's Web site

Joint Forces Command will sign on to the Navy's enterprise network by fiscal 2005, said the command's senior information technology official.

Air Force Brig. Gen. Walter Jones, director of command, control, communications and computer systems, said that Joint Forces Command seeks to adopt a central enterprise network approach, and the Navy Marine Corps Intranet will provide that capability.

"We need to rationalize our applications," Jones said. "Why should we pay for software that's sitting on a desktop and nobody uses it? We will first migrate to the [the command] enterprise network and then to NMCI."

Joint Forces Command officials are developing their own enterprise network in an effort to consolidate the networks and applications at the different command locations. This effort is scheduled for completion in less than year.

Joint Forces Command will be one of two unified commands using the Navy's network, said Capt. Chris Christopher, staff director of NMCI's director's office.

"We always anticipated that some of the unified commands would transition to NMCI, notably Pacom [Pacific Command] and [Joint Forces Command]," Christopher said. "Navy is the IT resource sponsor for both of the commands. The original contract was signed with the anticipation that other organizations could cut over."

The two commands represent about 10,500 seats between them, said Christopher and Navy Lt. Cmdr John Sharpe, a spokesman for Joint Forces Command.

"As much time that we put into NMCI preparations, there were still many configuration issues associated with legacy application configuration and network configurations that had to be manually resolved," said Randy Cieslak, Pacom's chief information officer. "Therefore, it has taken longer to implement NMCI as had been desired, but we are making progress."

Cieslak said being a joint command has presented unforeseen challenges for the NMCI team, but they are being resolved, and the entire command should be cut over by the end of September.

Jones said NMCI is currently the best bet under the Defense Department umbrella for consolidation and centralization. "I believe in the need for an enterprise approach, because it saves time and money and provides for interoperability," he said.

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