Intercepts

NMCI users complain; Future Combat Systems; graduations; ERP buying; JTRS AMF delay; AFWay.

NMCI vox populi

The Navy Marine Corps Intranet's annual press conference about user satisfaction has come and gone, and the Interceptor dutifully reported that officials from lead contractor EDS and the NMCI director's office said user satisfaction is 69 percent — and rising.

But the slew of e-mail messgaes the Interceptor received about the system tells a different story. Here are voices from the masses:

"I can't believe the NMCI director's office is feeding you this crap! I am a systems administrator...and have dealt with NMCI for around three years now. What a waste of government money!!!!!!!!!!"

"I did complete the NMCI users' satisfaction survey, and I gave them ZERO in most areas. I figure each user loses one hour a day waiting on their computer to work. Basically, NMCI is a waste of time!"

"The system has been disconnected from the Internet at least five times in the past year because of virus or worm attacks. Am I better off having NMCI? NO! I hope this lets you know the truth about the Navy's rip-off idea."

"Yesterday and at least three days last week, the NMCI Legacy Help Desk voice mailbox was full and users could not leave messages; other times they got a message that stated, 'All techs are currently in the field. Leave a message, and someone will get back to you shortly.' Shortly has turned into many days and, in many cases, weeks."

We assume these responses were written by the 31 percent who were dissatisfied. If this vitriol comes from the satisfied group, who needs enemies?

FCS on Atkins

The Army may create a job position to ensure that the Future Combat Systems air and ground vehicles do not get fat.

A document from a recent service review of the system concludes "the need...to appoint a weight czar to preclude additional weight creep in the program."

Pomp and circumstance

Last week, the Defense Department's Dependents Schools broadcast the graduation ceremonies of 14 high schools to military personnel in Iraq in real time. Proud parents deployed there watched their children graduate via broadband satellite provided by Tachyon Networks Inc. of Vienna, Va.

"This is a difficult sacrifice for deployed military and civilian families," a statement from the schools' director's office reads. "Graduation ceremonies are family events, and soldiers are a part of typical American families with students graduating from high schools all across America and DOD schools in Europe."

Officials at the schools, all located in Germany, considered broadcasting the ceremony when they became aware that many in the graduating class had at least one parent in Iraq. In some cases, almost 70 percent of the senior class experienced a war-related separation.

During the first Persian Gulf War in 1991, students graduating from these schools

relied on letters and pictures to include

parents in the festivities. Kudos to the military schools and Tachyon for providing the service.

ERP purchase agreements for PEO-EIS

The Army may be the first to use DOD's new blanket purchase agreements, which highly recommend using five firms to implement back-office software projects.

Officials at the Program Executive Office-Enterprise Information Systems expressed interest in using the agreements on the new General Fund Enterprise Business System, said Jim Clausen, co-chairman of DOD's Enterprise Software Initiative Working Group.

JTRS AMF award delay

The Air Force will not award the two design contracts for the Joint Tactical Radio System airborne and maritime/fixed station radio until July, according to an industry official whose company submitted a proposal for the job.

Officials at the Air Force's Electronic Systems Center had planned to award the contracts this month. The Air Force, Navy and Army must buy 13,000 of the radios for 75 aircraft, 50 ships and 20 fixed stations. They will let warfighters and analysts speak and send data on frequencies from 2 MHz to 2 GHz.

Commercial software for AFWay

Air Force officials want to make the service's online IT purchasing site easier to use.

This summer, they will release a solicitation for a commercial software solution for Air Force Way, according to a service IT official. In March 2002, the service started the online buying site to increase access to more than 150,000 IT products and to decrease customer workload.

Intercept something? Sent it to antenna@fcw.com.

NEXT STORY: Congress heeds state issues

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