Navy seats switch to NMCI

Naval Air Facility Washington

Less than a year after the contract award, the Navy's $6.9 billion effort to create an enterprise network became a reality.

Electronic Data Systems Corp., the contractor for the massive Navy Marine Corps Intranet project, officially has taken control of five desktops at the Naval Air Facility, Washington, D.C., a Navy activity at Andrews Air Force Base.

The transition of the first seats to NMCI marks an important milestone for the project, EDS officials said. "It brings the concept of NMCI into reality. We now have something to look at what NMCI is. We can kick the tires.and show that it works as proposed and as advertised," said Rick Rosenberg, EDS' NMCI program executive.

In the coming days, EDS will be working to transfer all of NAF Washington's 600 seats to the NMCI network, Rosenberg said. NAf Washington is the first of three locations that are at the forefront of rolling out NMCI.

Petty Officer 1st Class Ian Gehrmann, a 30-year-old aviation maintenance man from Madison, Wis., was the first to be logged on to the system Sept. 7.

Gehrmann sent an e-mail to Navy Secretary Gordon England and other senior officers: "At the direction of the Commanding Officer Navy Air Facility Washington, I am pleased to report to the chain of command, 'We've been given a ready deck.... NAF Washington has launched NMCI!'"

"It's an honor to be the first to receive NMCI," he wrote.

Rosenberg said that the e-mail exchange illustrates the interoperability of systems.

NAF Washington trains Naval Air Reserve units for their mobilization assignments and provides administration coordination and logistics support for these units. It also provides air operations support for the Naval District Washington, including for foreign dignitaries.

EDS has taken responsibility for network operations and maintenance at 29 sites and more than 42,000 seats. This stage, called assumption of responsibility, is a first step and typically requires that EDS take responsibility for individual contracts at each site.

Cutover, where all of a site's users move to the EDS NMCI network, is the second step. NAF Washington is the first site to take that step.

The cutover comes as the Navy and the Pentagon reached an agreement on how NMCI's performance will be tested. Rosenberg said that agreement lets the program move forward.

Meanwhile, Rosenberg said that EDS has stepped up security on NMCI in light of the terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center in New York. There have been no indications of any cyberattacks so far, however, he said.

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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