Navy gets OK to order more NMCI seats

The Navy this month received authorization from the Defense Department to move an additional 150,000 computer seats to the Navy-Marine Corps Intranet, bringing the current total of authorized seats to 310,000.

DOD's decision, handed down by Defense CIO John Stenbit and Michael Wynne, deputy undersecretary of Defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, 'shows leadership support of the NMCI at a critical time in cyberdefense,' said Rear Adm. Charles L. Munns, director of NMCI.

'Now more than ever our country is reliant on maintaining the security of its Defense information. NMCI will bring the Navy faster, more secure and reliable communications to enhance our warfighting readiness,' Munns said.

Stenbit's office is notifying Congress of the decision. Pending congressional authorization, the Navy will begin placing orders with contractor EDS Corp., said Capt. Chris Christopher, staff director for NMCI.

Operational test

Congress imposed a cap prohibiting EDS from cutting over more than 60,000 seats until the Navy successfully completed an operational test of the network, which the service recently finished. Navy officials first need congressional approval to add the additional seats authorized by DOD.
So far, EDS has cut over almost 60,000 seats.

In a memo to Munns, Stenbit said he was satisfied the contractor had met service-level agreements on a test bed of 20,000 computers. Under the performance-based contract, EDS is paid after it meets specified levels of service, such as help desk response time, application availability and network uptime.

Stenbit's decision marked the second time in two months he has signed off on plans to let the Navy move more PCs to NMCI. On Jan. 2, Stenbit OK'd the shift of 160,000 seats after a four-month test concluded NMCI could support additional systems.

Through NMCI, the Navy and Marine Corps plan to link voice, video and data communications at more than 300 installations. The next round of Defense testing on NMCI is slated for the summer.

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