Navy puts warfighting first

Navy puts warfighting first

The war in the Middle east is squeezing the Navy's electronic government efforts, deputy Navy Department CIO Robert J. Carey said today at an Arlington, Va., conference sponsored by the National Capital Chapter of the Association for Information and Image Management.

Carey said the Navy's seed-funding of e-business initiatives through an office in the Naval Supply Systems Command is 'morphing under the huge bill for the fleet in the Persian Gulf. We recognize the need to seed things, nevertheless'to carve out money to advance corporate change.' He said the e-business office has returned $7 in savings for every dollar invested.

Another online effort, a Navy-Marine Corps portal, 'is designed but not deployed because of the war. We are funding fuel and bombs, not new IT investments,' Carey said.

Meanwhile, CIO David Wennergren is getting a vice admiral as IT overseer for both business and warfighting. 'We're realigning the position' under the vice chief of naval operations, Carey said. 'The job's not yet sorted out' because the vice admiral 'will work for Dave but not in a line relationship.'

Carey listed several IT programs that remain high-priority:

  • Knowledge management under a Navy Reserve pilot, and the new position of KM officer on battle group staffs''a huge step in understanding our information flow'

  • Portfolio management''getting on top of our spending and deciding which of our legacy applications to keep enterprisewide'

  • ForceNet, the Navy component of the Defense Department's Global Information Grid

  • Common Access Card and public-key infrastructure support for BlackBerry handheld messaging devices from Research In Motion Ltd. of Waterloo, Ontario, which are used heavily by senior officers

  • Addition of fingerprint and possibly digital-photo biometrics to the CAC smart cards

  • Identity management, under a working group managed by Wennergren

  • A year-old virtual knowledge repository with keyword searching, maintained by the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command

  • Content management''We're trying to sort out how to do it consistently in our portal structure so that everything is searchable and transportable,' Carey said.

And, he added, 'We're relying on industry to get us to the place we need to get to' on use of commercial products, Extensible Markup Language and IPv6 messaging.


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