Navy creates shipshape IT team

Navy creates shipshape IT team

The Navy has selected 300 service members with a background in IT to serve under a new classification assigned to guard Navy networks that support operations and business processes.

Navy officials said grouping together IT workers is especially crucial during war. They expect to add 250 more officers to the designation.

Rear Adm. Nancy Brown, director of the Navy's Space, Information Warfare, Command and Control Division, said she considers the service members who received the new classification'which she called the information professional community'an important part of the Navy's transformation goals.

'They will be responsible for planning, acquiring and maintaining information, space, command and control systems in the Navy,' Brown said recently.

The officers will manage the Navy-Marine Corps Intranet and the Navy's IT for the 21st Century initiative. The Navy plans to connect these efforts into one network that uses a TCP/IP command and control system, and interoperable management and security policies and applications. The community will also handle telecommunications systems, officials said.

NMCI is a Navy-wide managed system for voice, video and data communications that will consolidate 200 networks into one intranet, linking more than 360,000 desktop PCs. IT-21 will give Navy ships at sea access to databases on shore.

The IT officers will work with technicians from Electronic Data Systems Corp., the contractor for NMCI, to manage the $7 billion outsourcing program from network operating centers.

The NMCI and IT-21 initiatives were what motivated the establishment of the new classification, Navy officials said. Scattered throughout the service on ships and ashore, the IT employees will serve in operational and systems commands as well as at the Pentagon.

Officers with a background in command, control, communications, computers and intelligence were chosen for the designation after appearing before a Navy redesignation board. They will receive training throughout their careers to keep them up-to-date with technological advances.

The training includes the Information Professional Development Program, set up by the Navy to certify officers in a variety of IT areas. Also, as part of the program, the Navy has established service mentors to guide officers in the new designation.

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