Marines schedule NMCI cutovers

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The Marine Corps is planning to begin cutovers to the Navy Marine Corps Intranet in September and will have all its 90,000 users connected to NMCI by year's end.

The war in Iraq has altered the schedule for the Marines. Because officials say they do not want to connect computers to NMCI while users of the system are away, the schedule will focus first on installations that have a smaller number of personnel serving abroad, said Richard Glover, NMCI program manager with Marine Corps Systems Command.

Those locations, including Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., will be followed by sites that have a larger contingent fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Marines began the first stage in the process during the last week of March. The first stage, called assumption of responsibility (AOR), is when EDS, the lead contractor on the NMCI project, takes over the existing network. Full activation occurs when the company starts to move users from the existing network to the NMCI network.

The Marines are using a site-by-site strategy to roll out NMCI, completely outfitting one installation before moving on to the next. The Navy, by contrast, has rolled out NMCI by command or client, often having to install at sites nationwide.

"We started to AOR Quantico on March 24, and that process will be ongoing throughout the year," Glover said.

The Marines have had almost two years to watch and learn from the Navy's successes and failures, and will adopt a plan to cut over 89,400 seats in less than four months.

"We do have a contingency plan laid out [in the event of the war's continued duration]," said Marine Col. Robert Baker, chief of the Marine Corps network plans and policy division. "We are pushing the assumption of responsibility for the forces [serving overseas] out as much as possible."

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