Transition to Navy Marine Corps Intranet service is both a challenge and an opportunity

16 Apr 2004 | Sgt. Christopher D. Reed

Navy Marine Corps Intranet officials held a conference at the base theater here April 7, to officially announce the network’s arrival.The event, sponsored in coordination with Headquarters Marine Corps, aimed to provide the Marine Corps community with the most current information regarding the transition from the current military computer network to the commercial based network.The transition, approved in October 2000 by former Secretary of the Navy Richard Danzig and the 32nd Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. James L. Jones, represents the commercial outsourcing of the Marine Corps’ information technology services in the continental United States and Japan, according to Maj. Richard A. Hoffman, NMCI liaison officer for the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command located in San Diego. “The driving factors which resulted in the creation of NMCI are the increasing complexity of IT and diminishing human resources,” said Hoffman. “In addition, the requirement for interoperability and security is growing as we depend more on IT.”The creation of NMCI will “level the playing field” with concern to the appropriation of resources throughout the Navy and Marine Corps, according to Hoffman. “You enable everyone to do their job while freeing resources for other matters of concern—like force protection for example,” said Hoffman. “Leveling the playing field, in simple terms, means allowing commanders to be more flexible in assigning resources in the right way.”According to Hoffman, the most important issue concerning the transition to NMCI is whether or not the Marine Corps community will get what they paid for. Some of the features include e-mail data getting backed up every week, software kept up-to-date and fixing workstations within 24 hours of them going down. “If management knows and understands the rights under the contract with NMCI, they will be empowered to enforce requirements,” said Hoffman. “Knowing you have rights under the contract will equate to getting what you paid for.”Hoffman admits the transition from one network to another is a leadership challenge; however, this challenge may also be viewed as an opportunity.“Modifying the IT environment will be an opportunity to make it more robust and better performing,” said Hoffman. “This will, in effect, make IT less cumbersome to operate and maintain.”It is the hope of leaders at NMCI the transition over the upcoming months remains transparent to members of the Marine Corps community. “When Marines go to their workstations in the morning all they should know is they have the same functionality as before the transition,” said Hoffman. “More importantly, they should know that they have access to services they may not have had before.”