Marines, Navy merge security functions

Marines, Navy merge security functions

Command and control units will move in together in an effort to improve project coordination

By Bill Murray

GCN Staff

The Marine Corps and Navy command and control organizations are combining their security operations at the direction of Navy Secretary Richard Danzig.

The Navy's Directorate of Space, Information Warfare, Command and Control, known as N6, is merging its information assurance functions with those of the Marine Corps' Command, Control, Communications and Computers Department.

Systems security is 'an absolutely key capability that we need' to work together on, said Rear Adm. Richard W. Mayo, the Navy's director of N6. 'We hope it will work.'

There are no plans to cut jobs at the merged operations, the Corps' deputy CIO Debra Filippi says.

Danzig called for the consolidation in a November 1999 directive, said Debra M. Filippi, the Corps' deputy chief information officer.

He previously asked the two C4 organizations to consider areas in which to conduct joint efforts.

But the integration, which will be completed in December, falls well short of a wholesale merger of the two naval organizations, Mayo said.

Come together

Navy Capt. Jim Newman will be the director of the new Navy-Marine Corps Information Assurance Office. Marine Lt. Col. Robert G. Baker will be the deputy information assurance director.

The director's post will alternate between Marine Corps and Navy officers, Filippi said.

The Navy's Chief Information Office will resolve any disputes, Mayo said.

To further facilitate communication between the Navy and Marine C4 shops, members of the two organizations' administration, requirements, plans and policy, and CIO divisions will work in one location on two floors in an Arlington, Va., building. The organizations currently are scattered at various locations near the Pentagon.

The division offices will still be separate Corps and Navy organizations, Mayo said. But by physically bringing them together, the Navy 'will see some more coherent and thought-out positions' and improve their work, he said.

Filippi and Mayo downplayed cultural differences between the organizations. 'I'd like to see people going out to lunch together and talking at the water cooler together,' Mayo said.

The change will not be a complete shock for Navy and Corps C4 employees, who have worked together on a handful of recent projects.

'We've developed a better appreciation of each other' through work on firewall protection, the Navy-Marine Corps Intranet procurement and the Marine amphibious readiness groups' use of the Navy's Information Technology for the 21st Century standards in deploying systems, Mayo said.

The relocation effort will affect about 170 employees of the two organizations, 50 from the Marine Corps and 120 from the Navy. Navy and Corps C4 officials who work on network services at the Quantico, Va., Marine Corps Base will not be affected by the move.

Department officials have no plans to eliminate any jobs, Filippi said. 'We want to leverage our resources together, rather than minimize them,' she said.

Filippi and Mayo said there could be additional integration of the organizations if common interests warrant it.

Time to adjust

It will take time to 'digest and evaluate' the current changes, Mayo said, but he predicted that more integration could occur within the next two years.

Meanwhile, in an unrelated move, the Marine Corps last month made the intelligence component of its C4 organization a separate unit and named Col. Michael E. Ennis its director of intelligence, Filippi said.


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