Letter to the editor

It's interesting to listen to the Navy Marine Corps Intranet government representatives and contractors blaming the users for all of their problems. They say that we are so stupid to have more than 100,000 applications running on our computers.

Wait a minute — Did every other user go out and write him or herself a new application? I went online to look for commercially available business programs and only could find several thousand for sale.

I encourage everyone to scrutinize this number closely. Most of them are different versions of drivers for peripherals that won't be allowed under NMCI. How many unused drivers or applications came with your computers or peripherals at home? How much of this useless junk would you transition to a replacement machine? The total number of applications that NMCI users have asked to transition is in the low hundreds.

Users did not choose the applications that are required to perform our jobs; management dictated them. Our travel manager, financial, timecard and purchasing applications were developed by the command. Now the users are being blamed and punished for our incompatibility and insecurity.

NMCI has no credible plan to transition these core corporate applications. We will be forced to utilize two computers — one useless NMCI machine and one archaic yet still productive legacy kiosk for years to come.

They talk about this system as if it is a weapon procurement. Well, treat it like one! If the Navy bought a ship or an aircraft that was incompatible with all of the existing weapons and datalinks, then it would surely fail operational evaluation. It should only pass and be deployed after new weapons and datalinks were developed. The Navy has learned this lesson time and time again.

The users are not grieving about loss of control. Most people don't care who provides the service. They are grieving about loss of capability.

It's also interesting to hear the new rhetoric from the program office and contractor. They now revel in the negative press from the customers. They publicly hope that this process will be painful. Is EDS hoping to change the contract to get awards when 85 percent of the customers are dissatisfied? They should, because from what I see, nearly 100 percent of the users are not only dissatisfied, but they are also angry about the lack of service.

This project costs as much as a new aircraft carrier. The problem is that someone forgot to buy the planes to fly off its flight deck.

EDS officials are not totally to blame for this. They are giving the Navy exactly what is in the contract.

Congress got it right [early in July] when they suspended new purchases of seats ["NMCI feels Appropriations bite"]. They recognized that NMCI is not replacing the current infrastructure, but only providing a secure e-mail service and Microsoft Office suite for $2,000 per year per seat.

Does anyone out there have the e-mail address for Andy Rooney?

Name withheld by request

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