Navy continues NMCI tests; no accord with Defense over more rigorous review

Navy continues NMCI tests; no accord with Defense over more rigorous review

By Dawn S. Onley

GCN Staff

JULY 30—The Navy's Fleet Information Warfare Center in Norfolk, Va., is using commercial hacker tools to try to break into a Navy-Marine Corps Intranet network operating center, the lifeblood of NMCI.

The Navy's Designated Approval Authority, along with representatives from the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command and NMCI contractor Electronic Data Systems Corp., have also been testing security protocols for about three weeks. The tests include configuration reviews and simulated missions operations, said Capt. Chris Christopher, a Navy deputy program executive officer for information technology.

So far so good, Christopher said. 'The good news is they haven't found anything that would be a problem,' he said.

While testing at the Norfolk center continues, the Navy and Defense Department still have not ironed out whether more extensive evaluations by DOD testers will be required. Navy and DOD officials met twice last week, Christopher said, but the two sides still haven't reached an accord.

The problem is that the 'procurement model for NMCI and the oversight model for DOD don't match,' said Christopher, citing a Defense official involved in the talks.

The Navy wants to continue its tests with EDS and questions having to submit to Defense testing as a condition that the project continue. The Navy has suggested that independent Defense testers monitor the contractor evaluations.

But DOD has pointed to a strategic pause imposed on NMCI by Congress last fall. The pause limits the amount of work EDS can perform before NMCI is subjected to rigorous weapons systems testing, followed by submission of a detailed report to lawmakers.

Linton Wells II, acting Defense chief information officer, said this further testing must be completed before he can certify the project for Congress.

Christopher said Navy and Defense officials hope to reach an agreement shortly.

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