NMCI forces Corps contingencies

A delay in rolling out the Navy Marine Corps Intranet to the Marine Corps is causing the service to institute contingency plans to enhance some parts of its aging network, the service's chief information officer said.

The Marines had been scheduled to begin rolling out NMCI seats during this fiscal year, but because of unexpected issues, such as the number of Navy legacy applications and questions over NMCI testing, the Marine Corps will not begin its NMCI implementation until fiscal 2003. The Marines represent about 68,000 seats on the network.

Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Robert Shea, director of command, control, communications and computers and the CIO, said the delay will not cause an enormous problem for the service. But it does mean that the Marine Corps will have to do some work to its legacy infrastructure, he said.

The delay, Shea said, is "only affecting us to the point where some of our legacy systems...are starting to degrade." Therefore, the Marines are developing plans to improve some of that legacy infrastructure to carry the service through until NMCI takes over, he said.

The Enterprise Sustainment Initiative, as the plan is officially called, will be detailed in a Marine Administrative Message that should be distributed to the fleet soon, a Marine spokesman confirmed.

The contingency plan will cost the Marines no additional money, Shea said, because the service will use funds that would have otherwise have been spent on NMCI seats.

Furthermore, Shea said the Marines are "well-positioned" to begin the transition to NMCI. "When it comes in, we're ready to move," he said.

Unlike the Navy, which has had to deal with thousands of legacy applications and has hundreds of legacy networks, the Marine Corps went through that streamlining process several years ago. That work will likely make the NMCI transition much easier.

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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