Navy command awards contract for suite of tactical support apps

The Navy Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command recently awarded CACI Inc. of Fairfax,
Va., a five-year $48 million contract for software, training and troubleshooting services
for the Naval Tactical Command Support System.

NTCSS is a suite of tactical support applications that provide shipboard systems users
with administrative data management, maintenance resource management, supply and financial
management, and automated medical systems support.

The work on NTCSS is part of the Defense Department effort to create interoperable
systems using the Defense Information Infrastructure’s Common Operating Environment
standards. NTCSS uses the COE designed by the Navy for its Joint Maritime Command
Information System program.

SPAWAR, the Navy’s software designer for NTCSS, is moving applications from legacy
systems to COE-compliant platforms. The shifts promote greater interoperability between
NTCSS applications, Navy officials said.

"It saves time and money," said Susan Linn, NTCSS deputy program manager.
"The maintenance, training and troubleshooting of the database is much easier because
there is only one database. It also gives a total picture of the readiness of the systems
on the ship."

The open architecture design also lets shipboard users search across various
applications for accurate data.

Jim McGuirk, CACI proposal group manager for the Virginia Beach, Va., region, said CACI
will provide troubleshooting options for the Navy, including an online help desk.

"CACI has established a support center on the Web and a Web-enabled application
that provides information back to SPAWAR from the ship to identify trouble reports and
change proposals," he said. Change proposals require the modification of software to
accommodate a user’s request.

In addition to help via the Web, the contract requires CACI to send technicians to fix
systems problems aboard ships.

The tactical support systems are extremely important to Naval officers at sea, said
Harry Quast, a retired Navy admiral and executive vice president of business development
at CACI.

"You can cut manpower … you can become more efficient … you can become
more effective as a weapons system at sea if you can handle this information the way this
system ultimately will do," he said.

"Information management is the buzzword, and it is not only for command and
control and intelligence," Quast said. "It is this kind of support
information—where are your spare parts, where are your key personnel and so
forth—that is equally as important as combat data."

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