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Federal Networks event highlights upcoming IT programs and procurements

Nearly two dozen Defense Department and civilian agencies information technology executives provided a preview of upcoming IT programs and procurements this week at the 23rd annual Federal Networks conference in McLean, Va.

Conference organizers--TeleStrategies and Suss Consulting--insisted that officials' remarks be considered off-the-record. That kind of policy in a room filled with hundreds of government contracting representatives has always struck us a bit oxymoronic, especially in this day and age where virtually everyone in the audience is capable of tapping away Tweets and e-mails.

Most of the presentations have been seen before--although the conference's comprehensive round-up of agencies has made it a stand out event over the years. 

And a number of presentations, like one presented by Gary Winkler, who leads the US Army's Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Systems, provided a practical preview of upcoming requests for proposals expected to be released.

But the presentations also featured a variety of notable facts. For instance, even with the advent of the 10-year-old Navy Marine Corps Intranet, which is scheduled to be officially retired this Sept. 30, the Navy still operates 400 networks and 11,000 applications. Updating those systems is particularly acute aboard the Navy's vessels, where the carriers maintain an average of 15 on-board networks; cruisers and destroyers average seven networks. And because of turn-around requirements, it typically takes more than 8 years between major refreshes of new IT systems, according to a Navy representative who spoke at the conference. We can't name her, but everyone else in the audience will be able to tell you it was Navy Rear Admiral (select) Gretchen Herbert, who heads up the Navy's Net-Centric Capabilities Division.

Posted by Wyatt Kash on Feb 19, 2010 at 12:10 PM


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