I am finding it difficult to find the right words to finish writing a column begun before our national tragedy. We are all in the process of taking stock, re-examining our values and the way we approach public service. Several of our colleagues in the information profession are among those fallen in service to this great country. Their families, friends, and co-workers need our support in this time of profound loss. We grieve, but we carry on with ever greater resolve.
The recent terrorist attacks punctuate the criticality to every organization, whether engaged in disaster management or the business of rapid, confident, high quality decision making. Warfighters routinely compare the OODA loop and the indirect competitive advantage of "getting inside" the adversaries' capability. This is the precise purpose of our knowledge management initiatives.
The eBusiness Knowledge Fair held on August 30 shared throughout the government the KM initiatives of the DON, DoD and our industry partners. The Secretary of the Navy, the Honorable Gordon R. England, challenged the attendees during the opening ceremony to reengineer, restructure, and change our organization so we can fully benefit from knowledge management, realize efficiencies from IT and programs like NMCI, and tap the intellectual capital of our Sailors, Marines, Civilians and industry partners. Meeting these challenges and implementing initiatives like those showcased at the fair are the enablers to achieving competitive advantage.
Over the last months we reached several milestones for the Navy Marine Corps Intranet (NMCI)—an important DON initiative that will enable knowledge superiority through a secure IT and communications infrastructure. In July and August we saw the opening of the two main Network Operating Centers, the hubs for NMCI technical support, at the Fleet Industrial Supply Center in Norfolk and at Naval Air Station, North Island in San Diego. These centers provide network management and monitoring, help desk support, user administration, and information assurance. In September the Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition Technology & Logistics) and the DoD Chief Information Officer signed a Decision Memorandum, authorizing the DON to proceed with NMCI, and the first e-mail message was sent from Naval Air Facility Washington, D.C.
Using Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) technology, the DoD Common Access Card (CAC) is providing the cyber security necessary to support the NMCI infrastructure, and helping to secure our physical space by providing identification for all DoD personnel. Issuance of CACs began at DON Headquarters earlier this year. As of September 5, 58,000 CACs had been issued across DoD; 48,500 of those were issued by the DON.
The events of the last weeks have brought a sense of urgency to implementing these initiatives that increase our capabilities. It is almost as if our future depends on the success of these initiatives … and, it does.