Data Packets

Navy brings NGEN requirements to industry
The Navy held its first industry day for the $8.8 billion Next Generation Enterprise Network (NGEN) project Sept. 8, bringing the project a step closer to award and superseding the Navy Marine Corps Intranet (NMCI) contract, which expires Sept. 30, 2010.

Nearly 400 representatives from 213 companies gathered in Washington to hear Navy Chief Information Officer Robert Carey, Rear Adm. David Simpson, director of Navy networks and deputy chief of naval operations and communication networks, and others deliver what Navy spokeswoman Denise Deon called the high-level functional concept. The Navy also outlined “the current NMCI operational environment [and] the proposed NGEN architecture, requirements and the notional segmentation approach to services,” Deon said.

The 424-page “Department of the Navy Next Generation Enterprise Network Requirements Document Version 2.0,” now available at the Program Executive Office-Enterprise Information Systems’ Web site, spells out requirements for the Block 1 NGEN contract, which “will support all existing capabilities that are provided by the NMCI baseline,” Deon said. That baseline covers an intranet of 363,000 Navy and Marine Corps computers.

Subsequent blocks will include improvements to Navy Enterprise Network capabilities outside the continental United States.

The Navy also used the industry day to provide “information as to which services in the notional approach would be considered ‘government retained,’” Deon said. Those services include network operations, program and contract management, technical authority, emerging technology transition, and in-service engineering, she said.

Cecom chief: C4ISR gets top priority
Since the 2001 terrorist attacks, the Army has spent millions of dollars developing capabilities and systems to help troops fight the war on terrorism. Army officials now need to focus on sustaining those systems, said Maj. Gen. Dennis Via, commanding general of the Communications-Electronics Life Cycle Management Command said at the Army Team C4ISR 2008 Joint Symposium.

“We must continue to consolidate our technological gains by improving our focus on sustaining these same systems throughout their entire life cycle,” Via said Sept. 15. “Although our warfighters appreciate what we have done, they’re more concerned with what we’re going to deliver tomorrow.”

Developing systems and capabilities for warfighters continues to be a priority for the Army, but working with industry to sustain existing systems will also receive new focus, he said.

In the past few years, the Army has made strides in developing command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems, he said. Those systems provide a road map for how Army officials would like to see C4ISR capabilities evolve.

“Over the past decade, the Army has moved from the exploration of net-centric concepts to developing those concepts in training, demonstrations and exercises,” Via said. He added that developing technologies and C4ISR capabilities remains the Army’s top priority, but the service better understands which specific areas need the technologies and how they fit into the overall picture.

Sharing sensory data and battlefield intelligence is giving commanders the best situational awareness they have ever had, he said.

Air Force Deputy CIO: The workforce is No. 1 priority
At a Sept. 5 meeting held by AFCEA International’s Washington Chapter in Arlington, Va., David Tillotson, Air Force deputy chief of warfighting integration and deputy chief information officer, told the audience that his primary problems related to restructuring, recruiting and training. “I have no technology issues keeping me up at night,” Tillotson said. “I have nothing but workforce issues keeping me up at night.”

“We do not have the right workforce to deal with the next 20 years,” he said. “And that’s the first thing we’re working on — the workforce, not the technology.”

Tillotson said the Air Force’s second major priority is taking a more architecture-driven course toward information technology operations and procurement. The service needs “to recapture some ownership of what’s going on,” he told the audience of industry executives.

Defense Systems Update

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