NMCI Test Track

With all eyes focused on the first set of test results for the Navy Marine Corps Intranet, Navy officials say early indications show that things are going well.

"There have been no show-stoppers at all" resulting from testing conducted 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 and Pentagon officials, NMCI's three initial sites must pass those tests for the initiative to continue.

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

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 (Navair) at the Naval Air Station in Patuxent River, Md.

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

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

If Defense Department Chief Information Officer John Stenbit signs off on NMCI's first milestone, it would enable the Navy to order another 100,000 seats.

Meanwhile, Navy officials acknowledged that there is still some question about what constitutes the "stress test" the NMCI network must undergo when 85 percent of the seats have been rolled out. But they also acknowledge that that milestone is some time away.

Enron? What's That?

The Enron scandal has a Pentagon connection with Army Secretary Thomas White — although his role at Enron has shrunk dramatically in his official biography, at least.

White was vice chairman of Enron Energy Services, an Enron subsidiary "responsible for providing energy outsource solutions to commercial and industrial customers throughout the United States," according to his official biography. At least, that's according to White's bio.graphy before it was updated.

The previous biography includes two paragraphs about his Enron experience.

The new, more abbreviated biography cuts those two paragraphs into a single sentence. It now states that White "was employed by [Enron] and held various senior executive positions."

Rumsfeld's 'Late Show' Fan

White House officials aren't the only ones pressuring the Pentagon to hunt down Osama bin Laden. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is feeling pressure from parents of late-night television hosts, of all people.

Rumsfeld recently appeared on the "Late Show with David Letterman," where he was interviewed by Letterman's mother, Dorothy Mengering.

"When are we going to put the hammer on Osama?" Mengering asked.

"My wife, Joyce, asks me that every morning," Rumsfeld said. "She says, 'Where is Osama?' And I say, 'Joyce, go back to sleep, I'm working on it.' "

Mengering said she is an avid viewer of Rumsfeld's press briefings. Rumsfeld, however, acknowledged that he does not watch Letterman regularly.

"I get up very, very early in the morning and generally [go] into the Pentagon by 6:30 or so in the morning, and I do need a little sleep," he said.

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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, 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,, 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, 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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