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CHIPS Articles: Navy Accelerates Migration to Windows 7

Navy Accelerates Migration to Windows 7
By CHIPS Magazine - October-December 2014
Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Dominance (OPNAV N2/N6) Vice Adm. Ted Branch has announced that the Navy is eradicating the remaining Windows XP operating systems to support migration to the Windows 7.

In NAVADMIN 206/14, Branch wrote that WIN XP has reached end of life and the vendor will no longer employ support system upgrades or mitigation of vulnerabilities. To ensure the Navy’s end-to-end cybersecurity posture and enterprise configuration management, the Navy will accelerate the process to eradicate the remaining WIN XP instances and support a migration effort to Microsoft’s Windows 7 operating system (WIN 7).

The Navy has entered into a Microsoft Custom Support Agreement (MCSA) to provide minimal vulnerability support for the remaining WIN XP systems currently in use across the enterprise. The MCSA is in effect from April 8, 2014 to April 14, 2015. MCSA will deliver operational continuity by providing security “hotfixes” for WIN XP and Microsoft technical support so that the Navy can expeditiously eradicate WIN XP and migrate to newer versions of Microsoft operating systems.

The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) has established a central repository for downloading hotfixes via the SAILOR web portal. For access to SAILOR contact Elle Bergeron, SPAWAR 4.3.3, (619) 221 -7819, or e-mail:

Navy Cyber Defense Operations Command will control notification of security hotfixes and compliance reporting via the existing information assurance vulnerability alert process.

The Navy is developing a comprehensive migration/eradication plan for both ashore and afloat systems, Branch wrote.

Ashore compliance will align with the plan of action and milestones (POA&Ms) previously submitted to OPNAV N2/N6 by the responsible program manager (PM) and Echelon II Command Information Office (ECH II CIO). All ashore assets must be WIN 7 compliant and/or compatible by April 30, 2015 or risk disconnect from all Navy networks.

Given the complexities associated with the afloat environment, WIN XP support will likely be required beyond April 14, 2015. Combined Fleet, SYSCOM, PM and Microsoft Eradication Team efforts are currently underway for data collection, onsite surveys, and analysis of the afloat environment, including all non-consolidated afloat networks and enterprise services platforms. This analysis will enable development of an enterprise POA&M to assist in the migration of afloat IT assets to a WIN 7 or greater operating system as quickly as possible.

Timely migration requires a commitment from all PMs and ECH II CIOs acting as focal points for addressing migration/eradication requirements. Cooperation and full disclosure with the contracted Microsoft eradication team is essential for this effort to be a success, Branch wrote.

The point of contact for assistance is Ms. Andrea St. John, OPNAV N2N6BC2 at (571) 256-8512 or email:

Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Dominance (OPNAV N2/N6) Vice Adm. Ted Branch
Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Dominance (OPNAV N2/N6) Vice Adm. Ted Branch
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