Pacom wants faster NMCI support

HONOLULU -- The Pacific Command is the only joint command using the Navy Marine Corps Intranet that is generally pleased with the system, but officials would like to see better support for its command and control users, said Randy Cieslak, chief information officer of the command.

Signing on to NMCI helped Pacific Command officials resolve a budget problem that emerged in 1999, when funding for information technology staffers declined, Cieslak said. NMCI helped resolve that problem by providing the command with a service-based IT infrastructure to support roughly 1,100 staffers at the command's new headquarters building at Camp Smith, Hawaii, which opened in April.

NMCI also helped Pacific Command officials resolve a hardware problem for unclassified users. Until they started using NMCI, command officials had to scramble with year-end money to buy PCs in increments of 50. But even then, not all users had a PC to handle unclassified business, a problem resolved by NMCI.

Because command officials use NMCI to manage operations as part of their command and control (C2) system, Cieslak said, he believes the Navy and NMCI integrator EDS need to improve support. "When you talk in terms of C2 systems, the [support] response time is not where it needs to be," he said.

Routine delivery of hardware can also lag, he added. Cieslak would like new staffers equipped with a PC within two days of a request. Now, delivery can take a month.

Navy and EDS officials can respond quickly to urgent requests, Cieslak said, citing an instance in which they provided all the equipment and services needed for a new Joint Forces headquarters set up at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in about six weeks -- a fast turnaround on a complex task.

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