House members voice concerns about Navy intranet project

Inadequate testing methods and a failure to identify tens of thousands of existing legacy applications have hampered the Navy's efforts to transition all of its information systems to the Navy-Marine Corps intranet (NMCI), the House Appropriations Committee has said last week.

In a report that accompanied the House-passed fiscal 2003 Defense appropriations bill, H.R. 5010, committee members said they are "concerned that this problem has limited the current state of the [NMCI] network's capabilities to such a degree that the system has significantly impacted operations."

The spending bill would limit the rollout of the program to the 160,000 NMCI "seats," or workstations, that already have been authorized by the Pentagon. The bill would prohibit the Navy from ordering more seats until many of the current NMCI problems are resolved.

Navy officials did not immediately return telephone calls seeking comment Wednesday.

The Navy eventually plans to deploy 411,000 NMCI workstations, creating seamless interoperability among more than 300 Navy and Marine Corps bases in the United States, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Guam, Iceland and Japan.

A key goal of the $7 billion NMCI project is to make the Navy and Marine Corps' critical infrastructures less vulnerable to cyberattack, while providing the civilian and military workforce with real-time, universal access to voice, video and data services.

Navy and Marine Corps officials have touted NMCI as a critical component of their "transformation" efforts to move the U.S. military into the information age.

But House appropriators said that despite making "significant progress ... in establishing the beginnings of the [NMCI] network," Navy officials--and their NMCI contractor, EDS--have encountered "unforeseen challenges" in their initial rollout of the network.

Committee members said in their report that they had heard "repeatedly" from Navy and EDS officials that efforts to deploy the NMCI network have been "severely inhibited" by a "failure to identify the existence of tens of thousands of legacy applications, and how or whether they could operate on the network."

The committee noted that in one office where NMCI is in the testing phase, dependence on legacy applications is so pervasive that more than half the workstations require two computer terminals--one for legacy systems and one for NMCI.

"While this problem exists, the Navy has proceeded with additional seat orders for additional locations, creating the potential for this crisis to grow exponentially," the committee said in its report.

In addition to barring the Navy from ordering more NMCI seats, the bill would require operational tests after a full NMCI transition for at least 20,000 workstations.

House appropriators said in their report that "the delay in seat orders that will result will ... provide the Navy and the contractor much-needed time to address the legacy-application problems which will arise from the order of the first 160,000 seats."

Committee members added that in order for NMCI to succeed, "progress must be at a more moderately measured pace, and with far greater emphasis on understanding the networks' capabilities and limitations."

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.