Pacom wants more flexible NMCI

Pacom leads military in pandemic planning

Honolulu –- The U.S. Pacific Command's (Pacom) top information technology officer wants more operational flexibility built into the Navy Marine Corps Intranet.

Pacom is the only combined command to use NMCI as its core computer system, which is why Army Col. Jennifer Napper, the new director for command, control, communications and computer systems, would like to see a more flexible system that meets the command's needs.

Napper said she wants to see NMCI better adapted to fulfill its joint role at Pacom, and that includes adding tools designed to support users outside the Navy and Marine Corps. She added that because NMCI is a warfighting network at Pacom, she wants a way to monitor its status and health.

A self-described “boots on the ground” communicator who has spent much of her career with tactical units, Napper said another key part of her job is getting information to warfighters in the field.

She said she believes wireless systems based on commercial short- and long-range technologies can help bridge the field communications gap. But she added that if such commercial technologies are fielded to tactical units, they must come with tough, built-in security.

Joint operations with other countries in the Pacific region is another priority for Napper, and she said she plans to build ties with allies through an annual exercise called Pacific Endeavor designed to link military networks from countries as diverse as India and Mongolia.

Napper said India has enhanced one form of wireless communications –- high-frequency single-sideband systems, which served as the backbone of U.S. long-range communications before the development of satellite systems. India fielded equipment during the most recent exercise that was more advanced than the high-frequency systems the United States used.

Napper said the development illustrated how Pacom can use exercises such as Pacific Endeavor to learn from the systems and technology fielded by other military forces in the region.

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