- By Dan Verton
- Aug 28, 2000
Final N/MCI Episode?
Believe it or not, the Navy has one final box to check before the winner
of the long-awaited Navy/Marine Corps Intranet contract can be announced.
Ron Turner, the Navy's deputy chief information officer for infrastructure,
systems and technology, recently told the Interceptor that although source
selection was completed in June, the Navy is busy plugging the winner's
actual numbers into the business case analysis for one final brief to the
Pentagon, the Office of Management and Budget and, oh yeah, those people
"If you think back to "Star Wars,' Yoda and Obi-Wan were talking and
Yoda said, "There is another.' Well, there is "another' [business case analysis] — the one with the actual vendor numbers cranked into it," Turner said.
Timing is Everything
Meanwhile, much has been made of the estimated award date for N/MCI.
The latest guess to hit the wires has been Sept. 1. However, my Crystal
City, Va., receive station has picked up signals from across the Potomac
that Rep. Herbert Bateman (R-Va.), chairman of the House Armed Services
Committee's Military Readiness Subcommittee and a leading critic of the
Navy's initial silence on the intranet deal, has asked the Navy not to award
the contract until Sept. 6 or 7, when he and some other key players are
back in town. If I were a betting man, I'd wager that N/MCI looks like a
mid-September night's dream. This is also a "Friday at 5 p.m." award if
I ever saw one.
Lights! Camera! Computer!
A resourceful second class petty officer recently earned a $7,500 incentive
bonus with a new recruiting film for the Navy's surface warfare community.
The Interceptor got a sneak peek at the film in July during the International
Naval Review 2000 in New York. Information Technology Specialist Kenneth
Walton created the film, "Surface Warfare — We Build Leaders," on his own
time using state-of-the-art computer rendering tools and traditional Navy
film footage. He even masterminded the accompanying music.
My E-ring listening post at the Pentagon has picked up low-level signals
that the Navy's recently issued guidance on outsourcing the defensive portions
of the information operations (IO) field might not spell out the Navy's
policy in concrete enough terms. "Our policy by no means opens all defensive
IO to outsourcing," said a high-level Navy official. "That would be tantamount
to giving away the keys to the kingdom. Unfortunately, we are vulnerable
to people not truly recognizing the risks and thinking that that is appropriate,
and making decisions accordingly, which could pose a threat to national
security," the official said.
OK, Marines. You can pull the plug on that automated e-mail script
you must have set up to send the Interceptor the real scoop on the new directors
of C4 and intelligence. Many of you will recall that two weeks ago I said
Marine Brig. Gen. Michael Ennis would be taking over for Brig. Gen. Robert
Shea as the new director of C4 and that a yet-to-be-announced director of
intelligence was inbound. I stand corrected.
My Henderson Hall listening post has picked up strong signals that Ennis
is, in fact, the commandant's selection for the intelligence director slot
and that Shea will be around for at least another year. I was, however,
correct on the infantry officer retread part of my prediction. Fortunately,
Ennis' recent stellar performance as commander of the Joint Intelligence
Center Pacific shows that he has an all-weather grip, sources say.
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