Navy eyes NMCI extension

The Navy has not yet passed the first milestone for its Navy Marine Corps Intranet, but officials are already investigating the possibility of extending the current contract, the Navy's new NMCI program manager said.

The Navy is considering modifying the NMCI contract with EDS so that the start date would coincide with passing the first major milestone, which could come as soon as next month.

NMCI director Rear Adm. Charles Munns, in his first public speech since being named to the post in February, said April 11 that the Navy would like to have some time to use NMCI before officials have to consider entering into the contract's three-year option period.

NMCI is a five-year contract valued at $4.1 billion, with an additional three-year option that brings the total value of the contract to $6.9 billion.

NMCI officials said that the idea behind the extension is for the Navy to start the five-year contract period at the time when NMCI passes its first milestone. Otherwise, the Navy would have to make a decision about the three-year option about two years after it gets all of NMCI's seats rolled out. Munns said the target date for that is December 2003.

The contract extension would enable the Navy to use the NMCI network for more than two years before having to address that issue.

EDS officials said that they had not heard of the idea, but they said the company likely would be receptive to the concept.

Munns, speaking at Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association's Navy Information Technology Day in Vienna, Va., reiterated that the Navy expects to complete testing by the end of the month and hopes to pass its first milestone next month.

Munns met with Pentagon officials April 12 to discuss the process for reviewing the test results. The test results will provide data for Pentagon officials to determine whether NMCI can move forward.

The 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 the additional 100,000 seats.

Meanwhile, the Navy has named Capt. Craig Madsen as its NMCI program manager. Madsen will work out of the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command in San Diego.

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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