Navy opens second NMCI center in a month

Navy opens second NMCI center in a month

Less than a month after the July 9 opening of the Navy-Marine Corps Intranet's first network operations center in Norfolk, Va., the Navy and contractor Electronic Data Systems Corp. flipped the switch yesterday on the project's newest center, at the North Island Naval Air Station on Coronado Island, Calif.

The center will manage NMCI operations for users west of the Mississippi, officials said.

Although other centers are slated to take some of the California location's responsibilities, the two new installations are anticipated to become the main hubs for an intranet that will connect more than 360,000 sailors and Marines.

The opening came days after a House Armed Services Committee vote to cut funding for NMCI and remove the Marine Corps from the project. The moves, which Defense Department officials said they would fight, would radically change the scope of the $6.9 billion project.

Under the contract, EDS is slated to provide the Navy and Marine Corps with hardware and software from suppliers such as Dell Computer Corp., Dolch Computer Systems Inc. of Fremont, Calif., Microsoft Corp., and Symantec Corp. of Cupertino, Calif.

The new center, housed in a building named for naval data processing pioneer Rear Adm. Grace Hopper, will make security one of its main emphases, said Capt. Bill Bry, the Navy's program manager for NMCI.

'We have been very much concerned about security,' Bry said. 'NMCI will bring us to the forefront of one of the most'if not the most'secure networks in the world.'

Teams of Navy personnel and contractors will conduct attacks on the intranet constantly, trying to uncover security flaws, Bry said. The Navy also plans to train users in the latest applications for Microsoft Windows 2000 and eliminate some legacy apps.

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