NMCI adds new program office and manager

NMCI adds new program office and manager

Gordon England

The Navy will establish a new program office for the Navy-Marine Corps Intranet, fulfilling a congressional mandate to appoint a single program manager to oversee the $6.9 billion outsourcing program.

Rear Adm. Charles L. Munns, the former commander of the Navy's Submarine Group Eight and Submarines, Allied Forces South, in Italy, will head the new office. He will take over at the end of the month.

Munns will be responsible for managing the execution of NMCI as the Navy moves from its old systems to the new, enterprisewide voice, video and data network, said Col. Kenneth Knapp, deputy program executive officer of IT for the Marine Corps. Munns will report to the Navy's assistant secretary for R&D.

'NMCI is a critical part of transforming the Navy-Marine Corps team to meet this nation's future security,' Navy Secretary Gordon R. England said. 'It is also a very complex undertaking, and one that is a dramatic departure from the traditional ways of doing business within the Defense Department. These management initiatives will ensure we continue to move forward on this essential program.'

NMCI will consolidate 200 networks into an intranet linking more than 360,000 desktop PCs. Contractor Electronic Data Systems Corp. so far has taken over management of 60,000 seats, company spokesman Chris Grey said. The number is expected to rise next month after Defense brass review tests of the system and give further deployments a green light.

In the fiscal 2002 Defense authorization bill, Congress called on DOD to broaden its oversight role of the contract. The bill also instructed England to appoint a program manager whose 'sole responsibility is to direct and oversee the program.'

Before Munns' appointment, Joseph Cipriano, the Navy's program executive officer for IT, managed NMCI. Other organizations, such as the CIO's offices within the Navy, also played a role.

'It has yet to be finalized as to what the redefined roles the current organizations involved in NMCI oversight will be,' a Navy spokesman said.

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