Munns spells out NMCI priorities

Navy officials expect the Navy Marine Corps Intranet to pass its first milestone as early as next month, the new director of the NMCI Program Office said.

That comes as the Navy has retooled the management of its massive effort to create an enterprisewide network for its shore-based sites.

Rear Adm. Charles Munns, in his first meeting with reporters since being named to the post in February, compared the scope of the efforts to roll out more than 400,000 NMCI seats with the Navy's efforts to fix the Year 2000 computer problem.

During the April 2 briefing, Munns said that his top priority for NMCI is the testing process, which will provide data for Pentagon officials to determine whether NMCI can move forward.

The original law authorizing NMCI stipulated that the Navy would roll out a certain number of seats to prove the feasibility of the concept. Under a September 2001 agreement, John Stenbit, Defense Department chief information officer, and Michael Wynne, deputy undersecretary for Defense for acquisition and technology, must give their approval to allow the Navy to order another 100,000 seats.

The contractor tests and evaluations (CT&Es) are a critical piece of information for that decision, officials have said.

Munns confirmed that CT&E has been going well at the initial three sites.

Munns said his second priority is getting more of a handle on the Navy's legacy applications. The Navy has identified nearly 100,000 applications and is working to refine the process to determine whether those applications will be moved to the new NMCI network.

Finally, Munns said he will be working on a plan for what happens after Stenbit and Wynne make their determination. "We need a specific plan by dates so commands out there know when they are going to join the NMCI network," he said.

Munns said that the Navy has reassessed its decision to place the global network operations center at the Marine base at Quantico, Va.

The Navy Department and contractor EDS were looking to house the fourth NMCI network operations center at Quantico, but Munns said that decision is up in the air because no building at Quantico could be used for such a purpose.

The network operations centers provide mission-critical services for the Navy's new EDS-owned network, such as network management and monitoring, help-desk support, user administration and information assurance.

The original plan was for NMCI to have six network operations centers. Last year, however, EDS decided NMCI would need only four centers and two "enterprise management facilities," which Navy officials said are essentially mini-network operations centers.

EDS has opened centers at the Naval Station Norfolk, Va., and at the Naval Air Station North Island on Coronado Island in San Diego County, Calif. The third center is under construction at Ford Island in Oahu, Hawaii.

Munns said the Navy Department is looking for a site for the fourth center, and it is likely that one of the four centers will serve at the global one.

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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