Intercepts

Test but verify; AKO cruising along; What do you really think?

Test But Verify

So you thought the Navy Marine Corps Intranet testing issue had been resolved? Think again.

The Navy is in the midst of analyzing results from the first round of tests on the NMCI network. That data will provide some of the first real numbers about how well the deployment of the Navy's new information tech.nology infrastructure is going. Although the tests are an immediate concern for Navy officials, another issue looms on the horizon. It appears that the broader testing issue — thought to have been resolved last September when Navy and Pentagon officials agreed to the procedure for testing NMCI — is still an issue. Apparently, the agreement has largely failed to resolve the question at the heart of the testing issue — how much does NMCI need to be tested? Defense Department chief information officer John Stenbit is calling for "stress tests," saying NMCI will have to be fully stress-tested on an operational network before he will give his approval.

The September testing memo states that when 85 percent of NMCI has been rolled out, the Navy will conduct a "stress test of the system to determine if [NMCI] can meet the performance requirements." The Navy should complete that test before the three option years have run out.

Stenbit suggested that the Navy and NMCI vendor EDS will have to test the network "to the point of failure." Meanwhile, the Navy will name a person to spearhead NMCI soon. The fiscal 2002 Defense authorization bill requires Navy Secretary Gordon England to appoint a program manager whose "sole responsibility is to direct and oversee the program."

AKO Cruising Along

The Army has picked up the pace in recent months in registering personnel on the Army Knowledge Online (AKO) portal and as of Jan. 8 had set up 760,000 accounts, said Miriam Browning, the Army's principal director of enterprise integration.

Browning said the bulk of the approximately 500,000 individuals who do not have accounts are part-time re.ser.vists and basic trainees. "Ninety per.cent of the individuals who are active duty — military, civilian, Guard and Reserve — now have AKO accounts."

The AKO portal registered its 100,000th user in November 2000.

It's refreshing to see a high-profile program meeting its deadlines, or at least coming really close.

What Do You Really Think?

The Air Force wants to hear from you! Gen. John Jump.er, Air Force chief of staff, has directed the Air Force Manpower and Innovation Agency to launch a survey this week to "tap the pulse" of the service on management and work-related topics.

The 2002 Organization Climate Survey, which will be available online Jan. 22 to March 8, includes approximately 100 questions and takes about 45 minutes to complete. This is the third time since 1997 that the biennial survey has been issued and the second time it has been given to the worldwide Air Force population on a Web-based platform supported by software from Raosoft Inc.

Scott Hopkins, the Air Force's survey program manager, said the 1999 survey received about 200,000 responses, but was plagued by slow response rates. However, the service solved the problem by putting the software at strategic regional locations. The goal for this year is to receive 300,000 responses.

The survey was originally scheduled for release in October but was delayed by the launch of operations Enduring Freedom and Noble Eagle. To take the survey, go to www.csafsurvey.com.

Intercept something? Send it to antenna@fcw.com.

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