Navy goes full speed ahead with next-gen IT projects

Program managers report progress with CANES, NGEN

The Navy is pushing ahead with two of its most visible IT programs, the Consolidated Afloat Networks and Enterprise Services (CANES) and the land-based Next Generation Enterprise Network (NGEN). Officials are hopeful the programs will help revolutionize naval IT, and the programs also are gearing up for contract action.

“This is the only way we can afford to modernize everything we need to, all the legacy networks, but we have to be careful not to break anything or let anything fall through the cracks,” said Capt. D.J. LeGoff, program manager, Tactical Networks Program Office. LeGoff discussed CANES as part of a Navy Program Executive Office panel at AFCEA Naval IT Day on June 9 in Vienna, Va.

“We cannot keep paying those kinds of dollars to support legacy systems,” LeGoff said.

CANES is designed to be interoperable with the Navy-Marine Corps Intranet (NMCI), the legacy predecessor to NGEN, which is slated for April 2014 completion, according to Capt. Shawn Hendricks, program manager, Naval Enterprise Networks Program Office.

Brig. Gen. Kevin Nally, Marine Corps CIO and director for command, control, communications and computers, said that some NMCI accounts have already successfully begun transitioning to the NGEN test bed.

Requests for proposals for NGEN will begin release this summer, with initial components of the RFP coming on June 30, July 30 and Aug. 30. The final draft will come out Sept. 30 and final RFPs will be out by Dec. 21, Hendricks said.

All contracts will be awarded no later than December 2012, with the systems engineering technical review set for completion no later than May 2013 and transition complete no later than April 30, 2014, he said.

A just-released NGEN technical data synopsis is available on fbo.gov. Hendricks said those interested in more information should monitor the FedBizOpps website.

The major transitions of both CANES and NGEN won’t be without challenges, Hendricks and LeGoff both said.

“The budget realities mean that we have to find efficiencies within our own infrastructure,” said LeGoff, adding that consolidation and reduction as well as configuration management and training also present challenges of their own.

Hendricks also noted that budget issues will be tough but necessary to overcome, stating that despite an expected decrease in funding, capabilities must be maintained and productivity must be increased.

About the Author

Amber Corrin is a staff writer covering military networks for Defense Systems.

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