INTERVIEW: Navy ready to set sail on NMCI


Ron Turner

With more than three decades of Defense Department experience, Ron Turner, deputy Navy chief information officer for infrastructure, systems and technology, leads policy and planning for implementing and managing architecture and standards, information systems and enterprise initiatives.

Turner's team works with Navy and Marine Corps organizations to coordinate and facilitate critical information technology management efforts, such as the Navy-Marine Corps Intranet. He managed IT operations at the Naval Air Systems Command before taking his current post.

Turner has mixed graduate experience in business administration, systems engineering, ocean engineering and computer sciences. He holds a bachelor's of science degree in aeronautical engineering from the University of Massachusetts and an associate degree in aeronautical technology from Wentworth Institute.

Turner recently spoke to GCN about the NMCI award and other Navy IT initiatives.

Who's In Charge

Daniel E. Porter

Chief Information Officer

Alex Benne

Deputy CIO for Enterprise Integration

Ron Turner

Deputy CIO for Infrastructure, Systems'and Technology

David M. Wennergren

Deputy CIO for Electronic Business and'Security

Dale Uhler

Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Space Programs

Joseph R. Cipriano

Program Executive Officer for Information'Technology

Rear Adm. John A. Gauss

Commander of Space and Naval Warfare'Systems Command

Rear Adm. Richard Mayo

Director of Space, Information Warfare,'Command and Control

Brig. Gen. Robert Shea

Marine Corps CIO and Deputy Chief of'Staff for Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence

Debra Filippi

Marine Corps Deputy CIO and Deputy'Assistant Chief of Staff for Command,'Control, Communications, Computers and'Intelligence


(in millions, fiscal 1999)

Lockheed Martin Corp.$641.7
Boeing Co.$289.3
Raytheon Co.$283.0
Bell Helicopter Textron Inc.$177.5
Marconi North America$161.9
Northrop Grumman Corp.$140.6
Science Applications International Corp.$116.3
Dell Computer Corp.$113.2
Litton PRC$109.0
Contel of California Inc.$96.7

Sources for this GCN Snapshot include the Navy and Input of Chantilly, Va.

TURNER: We've done a great sales and marketing job to get the Navy-Marine Corps Intranet program under way; we've got to make the program work. We have some restrictions on our network. We can implement up to 15 percent of network nodes in the first quarter. Then we will test Defense Department interoperability.

Clockwise from upper left: Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Robert Kreger, left, demonstrates a satellite antenna system and control console on the USS Blue Ridge to Navy Secretary Richard Danzig. Operations Specialist 3rd Class Archeilla Riley of Montgomery, Ala., monitors the tactical data link screen in the Combat Direction Center aboard the USS George Washington in the Arabian Gulf. Electronic Warfare Technician 3rd Class Michael Eubanks of Dallas runs part of the Advanced Combat Direction Systems in the Electronic Warfare Module aboard the USS Kitty Hawk in the Pacific Ocean.

There are 29 joint applications that we are going to have to be compatible with. The ones we run at the Naval Air Systems Command are going to be part of the test. The Pacific Command is going to buy off of this contract. As a buyer for the Pacific area, they have to be concerned not only with what the Navy does, but what the Army does and so forth.

Once we finish the operational tests, we report to Office of the Secretary of Defense staff, Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Office of Management and Budget, and Congress. As soon as that's done, we execute to the next series and on until we're done. The first quarter is the milestone, the proof of success.

Under NMCI, we have cell phones, personal digital assistants and wireless technology. We plan on using a lot of wireless hubs in the early stages of the contract.

Going mobile

An example of what we're looking at is the BlackBerry technology from Research in Motion Ltd. of Waterloo, Ontario. They're the only ones that right now connect directly to Microsoft Exchange or Outlook Server. We can have total wireless e-mail anywhere in a coverage zone.

Once you have it, your desktop is in a mobile device that if you lose, you have a problem. Somebody else is you. We will be working to integrate a smart-card reader into the back of the case, since smart card is part of NMCI. All cards will have Level 3 and eventually Level 4 public-key infrastructure certification, so you can't get on the network without it.

The downside is that if you lose the device, you lose your identity. There are keys you can put in it now, and the personal identification number you have refreshes itself within 30 days; you've got to synchronize within 30 days. It is you.

As part of NMCI we're doing a wireless test with NMCI members, the Program Executive Office, our General Accounting Office counterparts, Office of Legislative Affairs and the Chief of Naval Information. If any of us come up with a question on NMCI, we can immediately get to the other person. We'll conduct that test during this whole first quarter.

We also want to investigate wearable wireless devices. We see great potential uses for ships and submarines.

Major Programs
Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command'This group provides technical and material support for space systems; command, control, communications and intelligence systems; electronic warfare; and undersea surveillance.

Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command and U.S. Naval Observatory'These units provide science, technology, engineering, operations, personnel and facilities for oceanic and atmospheric exploration, along with astronomical data for naval and related objectives. The command develops technology based on the environment's influence on naval operations.

Naval Space Command'Naval forces around the globe receive space systems, such as satellite services, from the command, which also helps the service prepare for long-term space missions.

Naval Computer and Telecommunications Command'In addition to managing communications programs, the staff ensures implementation of OEI policies and procedures, and promotes sound planning and resource management.


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