Navy eases NMCI e-mail access for reservists

The Navy's 87,000 reservists can now access their Navy-Marine Corps Intranet e-mail accounts without buying an NMCI portable PC for remote access.

Reservists can reach the accounts by logging into Microsoft Exchange Server's Outlook Web Access, said Don Walsh, the NMCI enterprise operation technical lead. Through the Web Access URL, reservists with public-key infrastructure log-in certificates can use all Microsoft Exchange functions from any Web browser that has at least 128-bit Secure Sockets Layer encryption.

Outlook Web Access was approved by the Navy's Designated Approval Authority and was found to comply with all Navy and Defense Department security policies for accessing information electronically, Walsh said.

Because Outlook Web Access has public-key infrastructure authentication, it was secure for providing remote access and enabling anyone with an NMCI account to give reservists access to NMCI, and it was the most economical, Walsh said.

Typically, reservists spend two days a month at naval facilities, but many wanted a way to log on to NMCI from home. Before the new system went into effect, they had one option: buy a portable PC.

But most reservists didn't need the full functionality of an NMCI portable PC and simply wanted access to the portal, Navy officials said.

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