Earning DOD's approval, Navy awaits Congress' OK on NMCI

The Navy has received authorization from the Defense Department to move an additional 150,000 computer seats to the Navy-Marine Corps Intranet, bringing the current total of authorized seats to 310,000.

DOD's decision, handed down by Defense CIO John Stenbit and Michael Wynne, deputy undersecretary of Defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, 'shows leadership support of the NMCI at a critical time in cyberdefense,' said Charles L. Munns, director of NMCI. 'Now more than ever our country is reliant on maintaining the security of its Defense information. NMCI will bring the Navy faster, more secure and reliable communications to enhance our warfighting readiness.'

Stenbit's office is notifying Congress of DOD's decision. Pending congressional authorization, the Navy will begin placing seat orders with contractor EDS Corp., according to Capt. Chris Christopher, staff director for NMCI.

Congress imposed a cap prohibiting EDS from cutting over more than 60,000 seats until the Navy successfully completed an operational test of the network, which the service recently finished. Navy officials are awaiting congressional approval to add seats authorized by DOD.

So far, EDS has cut over 57,091 seats.

In a memo Stenbit sent to Munns this week, the CIO said he was satisfied that the contractor team had met service level agreements on a testbed of 20,000 computer workstations. Under the performance-based contract, EDS is paid after the contractor meets SLAs such as help desk response time, application availability and network uptime.

Stenbit's decision marked the second time in two months he has signed off on plans allowing the Navy to move more PCs to NMCI. On Jan. 2, Stenbit ruled that the results of a four-month test demonstrated that NMCI could support further systems, and he approved the shift of 160,000 seats.

Through NMCI, the Navy and Marine Corps will link voice, video and data communications at more than 300 installations. The next round of Defense testing on NMCI is slated for this summer.

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