Navy still has sights set on own intranet

SAN DIEGO—Top Navy officials today continued to push for speedy development of a naval worldwide intranet that would tie together terminals at all naval installations and on deployed ships in one seamless network.

Adm. Archie Clemins, commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet, said he still believes the Navy should develop its own intranet rather than sign on to a larger network operated by the Defense Information Systems Agency, which provides all of the Defense Department with telecommunications services.

"I don't know how to bite off all of DOD," Clemins said at a press briefing here at the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association West '99 conference. "How would you do all of DOD?" Clemins asked rhetorically. "Two million is a lot of people."

Clemins, the architect of the Navy's Information Technology for the 21st Century program, said that from his perspective it makes more sense to build networks to serve smaller groups of people "if you want to organize for success." IT-21 is designed to enable the Navy to harness the power of commercial networks and computers aboard ships and ashore at bases.

Clemins said Adm. J. Johnson, chief of naval operations, will provide more details on the Navy's intranet plans in a speech scheduled to be given here Jan. 21.

Lt. Gen. David Kelley, DISA's director, said he is "not in favor" of the services developing their own networks, pointing out that DISA provides telecommunications services to places "that no one else likes to go, like Tuzla," which is the main U.S. base in Bosnia.

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