Pentagon gives NMCI go-ahead

The Navy's massive initiative to create a unified network across more than 400,000 shore-based seats received a major boost today when Pentagon officials gave the project the approval to continue.

John Stenbit, Defense Department chief information officer, and Michael Wynne, deputy undersecretary of Defense for acquisition and technology, approved the decision to continue with the $6.9 billion Navy Marine Corps Intranet.

Under an agreement between Pentagon and Navy officials, the Navy was permitted to roll out about 60,000 seats as a test of the feasibility of the project. The decision today, termed "Milestone One," allows the Navy to order an additional 100,000 seats.

"We have achieved the milesetone. We are off to order another 100,000 seats," said Rear Adm. Charles Munns, who has been intensely focused on the Milestone One decision since he was named NMCI director in February. "It was a significant milestone today."

Munns has said once NMCI passed the Milestone One mark, he would focus on establishing a schedule for rolling out the remaining seats across the Navy and Marine Corps.

NMCI is a huge desktop outsourcing contract that seeks to use a performance-based contract to create incentives for the vendor to meet set service-level agreements.

Despite today's decision, the Navy still has significant task ahead to roll out seats at a hurried pace.

In the 17 months since the contract was awarded, NMCI has been plagued by the perception that the project was off-track. Navy officials acknowledge that the effort is behind its original schedule, but they note that the delays were beyond the Navy's or EDS' control. EDS is the lead vendor on the NMCI Information Strike Force, the group of companies assuming responsibility for the Navy's shore-based network.

One of the largest problems has been the scores of legacy applications that had to be reviewed before they could be put on the more-secure NMCI network. NMCI will eliminate the hundreds of separate networks that currently exist, some of which have little or no security measures on them at all.

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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