NMCI faces fall milestones

September is a big month for the Navy Marine Corps Intranet: Navy officials must submit a report to lawmakers on NMCI’s status, while the Marines plan to test the network during a warfighting exercise.

In their report, Navy officials will outline their plan to reduce the number of computer servers and legacy applications on NMCI. They will also give lawmakers a progress report on the past year and some of their plans for the future, said Rear Adm. James Godwin, NMCI’s direct reporting program manager. He spoke to industry officials during an event sponsored by the Industry Advisory Council June 28.

About 250,000 PCs have connected to NMCI since the multibillion-dollar program started in 1999. Navy officials set a goal of 400,000 PCs on the network, but the number could change because of service priorities, said Mike Koehler, enterprise client executive for NMCI at EDS, who also spoke at the event. The company helps the Navy oversee implementation and management of NMCI, and its contract ends in 2007.

The basic sets of PCs in the Navy and Marine Corps now connect to NMCI. The ones remaining involve specialty sets, including those for recruiters, guard posts and submarine stations, Koehler said.

Marines will test NMCI during an aviation proof of concept warfighting exercise in September. Air and ground forces will try to maintain connectivity and use applications on the network after taking off from Camp Pendleton, Calif., landing on a transport ship in the Pacific Ocean then deploying to a land site, said Godwin, who assumed command of NMCI last September.

Godwin said the future of NMCI must evolve from that of an administrative network to a warfighting one. “Let’s use the power of this system,” he said.

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