Munns moves on from NMCI

NMCI Web site

After more than two years on the job, Navy Rear Adm. Charles Munns, director of the Navy Marine Corps Intranet, has earned his third star and a transfer.

The Defense Department today announced that Munns has been recommended for the rank of vice admiral and assignment as commander of submarine force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet and commander of Submarine Allied Command, Atlantic in Norfolk, Va.

Two years ago, Munns was given a job that few could have wanted: taking the federal government's largest information technology outsourcing project, whose budget has increased even as it has run past deadline, and bringing it under control.

But Munns "did what was essential: took charge and managed to get everyone associated with NMCI pointed in the right direction," said Capt. Chris Christopher, NMCI's staff director, in a 2003 interview.

Before Munns began in early 2002, committees ran NMCI with at least six Navy officials having a say in the management of the program. Munns became the anchor of the NMCI team, championing the need for an enterprisewide system and challenging detractors. When he took over the fledgling program, fewer than 700 sailors had been transitioned to the new system. As of today, more than 187,000 seats are on the network.

Munns has steered the network through testing and evaluation phases, satisfied Congressional demands, weathered the scrutiny of the Defense Secretary and helped the system maintain its course.

NMCI has many critics who say the system isn't worth its $8.8 billion price tag and that lead contractor EDS can't finish the job on time and on budget. But more than half of the Navy/Marine Corps team already uses the network.

Speaking at Naval IT Day in March, Adm. Michael Mullen, vice chief of naval operations, rebuked the Navy personnel who are resisting the changeover to the enterprisewide network and complaining about problems.

"If you don't like it, leave," he said. "Because we're going to do this. Resistance to it is costing me money and costing me time, and I won't stand for it. I'll plow through or over anybody and do whatever it takes. We're not doing NMCI because it's a cute idea, but because it will provide a bridge — a road — to the efficiencies we want to achieve."

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