NMCI 'D-Day' Looms

May 3 is a very important date for the Navy Marine Corps Intranet.

It's the date when Pentagon officials say that they will announce their so-called "milestone one" determination, but in essence, it's the date that NMCI gets a thumbs up or down.

The decision may be the most important date for NMCI since the October 2000 contract award or before that, when Congress gave its approval to the concept.

Under the law authorizing NMCI, the Navy was allowed to roll out about 60,000 seats to test the project. Then, 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.

Many analysts say it will be difficult for Stenbit and Wynne to kill NMCI at this point given the amount of time, money and energy that have gone into the project so far.

The Navy also has been focusing on the recent change of NMCI leadership. Rear Adm. Charles Munns, who was named NMCI director in February, has been making the rounds on Capitol Hill and in the Pentagon.

Army Intranet Unlikely

The Army talks to the Navy all the time, but it will not do an NMCI-like deal to meet its enterprise infostructure transformation needs, according to Miriam Browning, the Army's principal director for enterprise integration.

The Army would like to move to the performance-based service-level agreements that are part of NMCI's foundation, "but from an acquisition approach, the Army is not going to do it," Browning said.

Speaking last week at the Army Small Computer Program's Information Technology conference in Reno, Nev., Browning said the Army's goals were the same as the Navy's for NMCI — namely reducing costs, decreasing the service's IT footprint and increasing security — but outsourcing the whole thing "is not the way we do business."

Still, she said the Army was determining its enterprise IT baselines and how to manage them.

Once that work is done, the service will decide what to do in-house and what to outsource, and will most likely "chunk out pieces of it at different times."

What's in a Name?

The Army Small Computer Program wants a new name and asked attendees at its IT conference last week to submit ideas.

Olga Lawrence, assistant project manager for ASCP, said the office was looking for suggestions because the current moniker "doesn't fit our mission anymore."

"We provide solutions, products and services, but when you hear 'Army Small Computer Program,' you think laptops or PCs and we're really more than that," Lawrence told the Interceptor.

However, she said that ASCP would only accept suggestions for a new name at the conference.

Sounds like a lot of pressure on those attendees.

Beetle Mania

Camp Swampy is getting a new tech guy and Mort Walker, the creator of the comic strip "Beetle Bailey," wants readers to pick a name for him.

Gen. Amos Halftrack is bombarded "with incomprehensible computer-generated information" from headquarters and decides it's time to get technical assistance.

In a weeklong series beginning May 6 in newspapers across the country, a new IT officer will answer the general's plea for help.

Readers are invited to enter a national contest to suggest a name for the new computer guy. We wonder if he'll know what NMCI is. o suggest a name, go to

Intercept something? Send it to [email protected].

About the Authors

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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