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CHIPS Articles: Message from the DON CIO, July-September 2004

Message from the DON CIO, July-September 2004
By Dave Wennergren - July-September 2004
Rear Adm. Chuck Munns, who has been selected for promotion to vice admiral, will be leaving his job as director of the Navy Marine Corps Intranet (NMCI) in a couple of months. Our loss in the Department's information technology community will undoubtedly be the fleet's gain as he assumes the post of Commander, Naval Submarine Forces.

We owe Rear Adm. Munns our thanks. He has worked tirelessly to implement NMCI, the largest intranet in the world and a change management effort of epic proportions. His steady hand, intellect and innovative spirit have turned the tide, and taken this very challenging project to the point of well over 300,000 people using the network daily. As pointed out at the recent NMCI Industry Symposium, NMCI implementation has demonstrably improved access, interoperability, information assurance, failover and redundancy; and innovative new training opportunities are now available to our military personnel.

Despite the progress we have made on NMCI, an incredible amount of work remains to be done to truly achieve the transformational potential that this intranet offers us. Our success will be measured by our ability to devote our energies to solving problems and accelerating the pace of transition. While the cutover of seats is of paramount importance to get our Navy and Marine Corps users into the NMCI collaborative environment, we must not lose focus on shutting down legacy applications and networks. The price of maintaining duplicative systems and infrastructure is an anchor around our neck that must be lifted to achieve our vision of Naval Power 21, knowledge dominance and network-centric warfare. The security achievements of NMCI are noteworthy, but the rapid transition to Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) digital certificates on the Common Access Card for cryptographic log on, access to secure Web sites, and digital signatures, will not only dramatically strengthen our information security posture, but will also be the key that unlocks the power of eGovernment and the elimination of our labor-intensive paper processes.

Each of us has a leadership role to play in this Naval transformation. Let us renew our commitment to provide the network-centric environment that our Sailors and Marines need to fight and win in a world where the flow of the right information to our forces, anywhere in the world, in real time, is crucial. Let us bring to bear the strength of our Naval shore establishment to win the global war on terrorism. Each day spent making NMCI the foundation for this transformation to net-centric operations is a day of success. Any moment spent not working constructively to face and work through the challenges of this daunting transformation is a moment lost to the men and women serving this great nation.

Dave Wennergren
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CHIPS is an official U.S. Navy website sponsored by the Department of the Navy (DON) Chief Information Officer, the Department of Defense Enterprise Software Initiative (ESI) and the DON's ESI Software Product Manager Team at Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific.

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