NMCI makes strides in testing

Testing of the Navy Marine Corps Intranet is going well, according to early indications, although the formal testing results are not yet available, NMCI's program manager said.

"There have been no show-stoppers at all" resulting from the testing at NMCI's first site, said Capt. Chris Christopher, deputy program executive officer for information technology at the Navy Department, during a Feb. 19 press briefing.

The contractor test and evaluation (CT&E) process is critical to the long-term success of NMCI, the Navy's $6.9 billion effort to create an enterprise network for its shore-based facilities. Under a September 2001 agreement between Navy officials and John Stenbit, the Defense Department's chief information officer, NMCI's initial sites must pass those tests for the initiative to continue.

So far, EDS has rolled out about 1,200 seats of the approximately 4,000 seats that must be readied before NMCI can reach its first milestone.

The CT&E process has been completed at the Naval Air Facility, the first Navy site to deploy the new NMCI network. The test results from that site will provide the first real data about NMCI operations.

The Naval Air Facility, located at Andrews Air Force Base in the Washington, D.C., area, represents about 565 seats and is one of three sites being used in an NMCI feasibility test. The other sites are the 2,500 seats at Naval Air Reserve Center, Lemoore, Calif., and 1,000 seats at Naval Air Systems Command at the Naval Air Station, Patuxent River, Md.

Navy officials said that CT&E testing at Leemore could be concluded by the end of March, and Navair testing could finish by the end of April.

If Stenbit signs off on NMCI's first milestone, it would enable the Navy to order another 100,000 seats.

Christopher noted that NMCI is a performance-based contract, and therefore the vendor must meet specified service-level agreements.

The question at the heart of the CT&E is whether the NMCI vendor, EDS, can determine if something is not working, whether EDS and the Navy can find the reason for the malfunction, and then whether EDS can fix the problems once they are discovered.

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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