Marines land Dell notebook deal

The Marine Corps has awarded a $17.8 million contract to Dell Computer Corp. for 9,940 notebook computers as the service awaits the arrival of the Navy Marine Corps Intranet.

The award, announced May 6 and conducted by the Marine Corps Systems Command in Quantico, Va., is intended to stabilize the Marines' aging information technology infrastructure.

The ruggedized Dell laptop computers will go to those who need them the most, officials said. The 1st Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Pendleton, Calif., for example, will get laptops to replace their existing, outdated computers.

The Marines have had to institute contingency plans because of a delay in rolling out NMCI, a $6.9 billion effort to create a unified network across more than 400,000 Navy and Marine Corps shore-based sites.

Corps officials have said that the contingency plans are not costing the service additional money because they are using money that would have gone to the NMCI rollout. The Marine Corps represents about 68,000 NMCI seats.

The Corps has always been a top priority under NMCI because of its aging IT infrastructure. Under the original NMCI schedule, the service was slated for rollout this month, but NMCI officials don't expect the Corps to begin implementing NMCI until January 2003.

NMCI officials are in the process of laying out a precise schedule — a task that had been awaiting the Pentagon's certification of the program May 3.

The Marine Corps is widely seen as well-prepared for NMCI. The service streamlined its networks and applications years ago, so the Corps will not have to deal with the thousands of legacy applications and hundreds of networks that have bogged down the Navy.

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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