Navy leader backs NMCI, EDS

NEW ORLEANS — Navy Secretary Gordon England today said that the Navy Marine Corps Intranet project has to succeed, because the Navy cannot afford to go back to where it was prior to the implementation of the enterprisewide network.

The Navy's top civilian, speaking here at the NMCI Industry Symposium, called the project a big idea program and said that despite perceived user dissatisfaction, the program is proceeding more rapidly than at any time in the past.

"We need to work out the remaining bugs and fully implement the network," England said. "Our initial projections were way too optimistic."

But, he added, NMCI is coming. The Navy is committed to its partnership with lead contractor EDS, he said.

"The Department of the Navy wants EDS to be very successful in this program," he said. "EDS has been through some hard times through this program with us."

"This program is very important and we have no choice but to go forward," England said. "People forget where we were before NMCI — we've come a long way. If you measure where we are compared to where we were, you see just how far that is."

Even when the network is eventually completed and each member of the Navy and Marine Corps is on the system, the work will continue.

"NMCI is a foundation and not an end," he said. "It will now allow us to determine how we run the Department if the Navy."

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