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[] NMCI: "security will not be compromised in new network",

Top Navy officials say security will not be compromised in newnetwork

By David McGlinchey
dmcglinchey -!
- govexec -
June 23, 2004 

One of the primary benefits of the Navy Marine Corps Intranet project
is a dramatic improvement in network security, Navy officials said.
That additional security, however, is also hampering the seamless
development of the $8 billion network, according to Navy Secretary
Gordon England, who spoke at the 2004 NMCI Industry Symposium in New

"A lack of security was probably the most deficient aspect of our
legacy networks," England said. A system that does not contain
classified information could be fielded without as many delays, but
the Navy does not have that option. Many Navy personnel, he said, "do
not like the compromises that we make for security, but security is

During a speech to the symposium, England praised the NMCI effort and
said it offers a variety of capabilities, including better tracking of
IT expenses and more effective communications and management. The
network, which is being developed by prime contractor EDS, is
currently the largest intranet in the world with hundreds of thousands
of Navy and Marine Corps personnel connected.

NMCI has suffered from substantial delays since its inception in
October 2000 and some military leaders at the New Orleans conference
have criticized the network for poor connectivity and slow delivery.  
Other service officials say NMCI customer satisfaction overall is
high, and some problems are to be expected with the development and
fielding of a massive information technology system.

Navy Rear Adm. Charles Munns, who is leading the NMCI effort, said
military and industry officials should now focus on stepping up the
development of the system. They must "maintain that security, but
increase the speed," Munns said.

England also directed a statement to Navy and Marine Corps personnel
who are disgruntled with what they see as stringent security and slow
rollout of the new network.

"We're not going to change the system. Our users have to get used to
this," he said. England appealed to service members to embrace NMCI.  
"People forget where we were before NMCI. We cannot go back to where
we were five years ago."

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