Pentagon reviewing NMCI tests

EDS has completed testing of the Navy Marine Corps Intranet in preparation for the critical May 3 decision by Pentagon officials about the future of the program.

"We have received all the test results, and we are completing our assessment at the moment," an NMCI spokesman confirmed April 23.

The testing is a critical part in meeting the first milestone for the Navy's $6.9 billion initiative to create a single network across its shore-based facilities. The law authorizing NMCI allowed the Navy to roll out about 60,000 seats in order to test the concept.

Under a September 2001 agreement, John Stenbit, the Defense Department's chief information officer, and Michael Wynne, deputy undersecretary of Defense for acquisition and technology, must approve the pilot sites' progress before the project can proceed. Their approval would allow the Navy to lease an additional 100,000 seats. NMCI will cover 411,000 seats when fully rolled out.

DOD officials told the Navy they will make a decision on NMCI by May 3.

"We will be briefing Stenbit in time for him to make his decision on May 3," the NMCI spokesman said. But he noted that there have been "no show stoppers."

Rear Adm. Charles Munns, who was named as NMCI director in February, has been intensely focused on completing testing and on the "milestone one" decision.

In a briefing with analysts EDS chairman and chief executive officer Dick Brown said that EDS has spent more than $550 million laying the infrastructure for NMCI so far. But he said he expects the Pentagon will sign off on NMCI next month.

Congress mandated the increased testing requirements after the Navy and EDS signed the NMCI contract, Brown noted. That has forced the company to pay for more of the expense of the contract up front.

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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