NMCI foundation spreading

Electronic Data Systems Corp. opened the second of six network operations centers Aug. 6 that lay the groundwork for the Navy Marine Corps Intranet.

The center, located at North Island Naval Air Station on Coronado Island in San Diego County, Calif., will be one of the main hubs for NMCI. It will provide mission-critical services for the Navy's West Coast operations, such as network management and monitoring, help-desk support, user administration and information assurance.

EDS opened the first network operations center at Naval Base Norfolk, Va., last month.

The San Diego center, at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, will control 78,000 desktops and can back up other regional centers in the event of an emergency, EDS officials said.

The Navy and EDS, however, used the opening as part of a stepped-up effort to battle the perception that NMCI is off schedule and off track.

"We are accomplishing what was thought was impossible," said Rick Rosenburg, EDS' NMCI program executive.

"We are well on course to achieving a Naval intranet," said Vice Adm. Richard Mayo, director of space, information warfare, command and control. "It's truly incredible what has been accomplished."

The center's opening comes just days after the House Armed Services Committee approved its version of the fiscal 2002 Defense authorization bill that includes language that would pull the Marine Corps out of NMCI. The committee has not released the actual language but the cited NMCI's persistent delays.

NMCI and EDS officials refute that the project is off track.

Brig. Gen. Robert Shea, assistant chief of staff of the Marine Corps command, control, communications and computers, said that Navy, Marine Corps and EDS officials need to address the committee's concerns. But he said he was convinced that the Marines would continue to be a part of NMCI.

He noted that the San Diego center is another important milestone for NMCI.

The six network operations centers will lay a critical foundation for NMCI. Eventually all voice, video and data traffic to the Defense Information Systems Network will flow through the centers, which should make the Navy's networks less susceptible to intrusions.

About the Author

Christopher J. Dorobek is the co-anchor of Federal News Radio’s afternoon drive program, The Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, and the founder, publisher and editor of the DorobekInsider.com, a leading blog for the Federal IT community.

Dorobek joined Federal News Radio in 2008 with 16 years of experience covering government issues with an emphasis on government information technology. Prior to joining Federal News Radio, Dorobek was editor-in-chief of Federal Computer Week, the leading news magazine for government IT decision-makers and the flagship of the 1105 Government Information Group portfolio of publications. As editor-in-chief, Dorobek served as a member of the senior leadership team at 1105 Government Information Group, providing daily editorial direction and management for FCW magazine, FCW.com, Government Health IT and its other editorial products.

Dorobek joined FCW in 2001 as a senior reporter and assumed increasing responsibilities, becoming managing editor and executive editor before being named editor-in-chief in 2006. Prior to joining FCW, Dorobek was a technology reporter at PlanetGov.com, one of the first online community centers for current and former government employees. He also spent five years at Government Computer News, another leading industry publication, covering a variety of federal IT-related issues.

Dorobek is a frequent speaker on issues involving the government IT industry, and has appeared as a frequent contributor to NewsChannel 8’s Federal News Today program. He began his career as a reporter at the Foster’s Daily Democrat, a daily newspaper in Dover, N.H. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California. He lives in Washington, DC.


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