Intercepts

Bon voyage!

The Navy Marine Corps Intranet is a program in search of a new leader.

Navy Rear Adm. Charles Munns has been officially nominated to receive his third star and a transfer to his old stomping grounds amid the submarine fleet.

Munns was brought in to lead the program after members of Congress complained about the leadership by committee that had been in place. He has managed NMCI for more than two years and developed the program from an idea to a viable network that encompasses half of the Navy.

Although nobody would tell the Interceptor on record that Munns is getting his third star partially because of the past two-plus years he's spent in NMCI Purgatory, that's certainly the vibe we've been receiving. Rumors of the promotion and transfer have been circulating since late last year.

Nobody knows who Munns' replacement will be, but he or she certainly has big shoes to fill. Bon voyage, Munns. Bravo Zulu.

ITES 2 offers services only

The Army will follow up the $1 billion Information Technology Enterprise Solutions (ITES) program with another performance-based contract. But the initiative will likely involve only IT services, service officials said.

Army IT and contracting officials are working on guidelines for ITES because the service will hit the $500 million limit for the ITES Functional Area-2 services work sooner than expected. ITES 2 requirements should be ready this fall, said Kevin Carroll, program executive officer in the Program Executive Office-Enterprise Information Systems (PEO-EIS).

PEO-EIS officials erred by not putting higher financial ceilings on ITES, said Carroll, the organization's top IT program official. He took responsibility.

That's a stand-up manager.

I do. Over.

Through the modern technology of videoconferencing, service members in Iraq and Afghanistan have been able to see and speak to their loved ones in real time. High school graduations in Germany were broadcast live via the Internet to students' parents who are serving in Iraq.

Now, the role of videoconferencing has expanded to a new realm. Two soldiers, both members of the Massachusetts Army National Guard and separated by more than 7,000 miles, were recently e-married, thanks to services provided by the nonprofit Freedom Calls Foundation (www.freedomcalls.org).

Army Staff Sgt. Shadow Evans, serving in Iraq in the Sunni Triangle, arrived for her nuptials in an up-armored Humvee. Her fiancé, Sgt. Richard Everton, was in Durango, Colo. Freedom Calls established an Internet connection that allowed the two noncoms to exchange vows.

The first Freedom Calls facility was officially opened this week at Camp Cooke, an Army camp north of Baghdad serving 12,000 soldiers. Service officials have requested that the foundation install its facilities at eight additional camps in Iraq and two in Afghanistan in the coming months. The foundation relies on donations to provide its services.

Army promotions

Gen. George Casey, Army vice chief of staff, will head to Iraq this summer and take over for Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, the service's top officer there. Lt. Gen. Richard Cody, deputy chief of staff for operations, will become the Army's second highest officer, according to media reports and industry officials.

The post marks Casey's first combat deployment. The Army vice chief of staff job culminates Cody's rapid rise. Just two years ago, he commanded the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) at Fort Campbell, Ky.

Cody's promotion should quiet the service's helicopter community, which complained in recent years that Army aviators do not hold prominent leadership positions.

Navy gets sleek

Last week, Navy officials successfully tested a new computer configuration that saves power, space and maintenance work.

The Multi-level Thin Client fuses several secure networks into one slim workstation using a flat-screen monitor and a small user interface, according to a June 15 statement from Joint Forces Command. The Navy tested the hardware during the Combined Joint Task Force Exercise, a war game between U.S. and coalition forces that emphasized fratricide prevention and data sharing.

The Navy installed 70 of the computers and plans for 30 more on USS Mount Whitney, one of three sophisticated command and control ships in the service.

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