SUFFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- Eric Markland, command information officer and director for Ashore Modernization and Integration at Navy Information Dominance Forces (NAVIDFOR) has been selected as a 2015 Federal 100 award recipient by Federal Computer Week (FCW), a leading publication in federal information technology (IT).
"It's a great honor," said Markland, "but that type of honor does not come without a huge support structure around you. The set of mentors, the staff that I have and the work they do every day, is just as much part of the award, and it is just as much a reflection of their hard work and determination as it is mine."
For 26 years the Federal 100 Awards have recognized government, industry and academic leaders who have excelled in their jobs in helping the federal government acquire, develop and manage IT.
Markland was selected as a Federal 100 awardee for his work supporting the operational and acquisition planning, source selection and award, and program transition efforts for the Next Generation Enterprise Network (NGEN). NGEN is the follow-on acquisition approach and contract to provide enterprise network services that were originally consolidated in 2000 under the Navy Marine Corps Intranet (NMCI) contract that provides IT services to more than 700,000 Navy and Marine Corps users.
NGEN represents the continuous evolution of the Department of the Navy's (DON) enterprise networks that provide secure, net-centric data and services to the Navy and Marine Corps personnel. NGEN will also complement the Department of Defense Joint Information Environment (JIE) goals of data center consolidation, improved IT structure and increased ability to securely share critical information quickly.
"The thinking was that we needed to get alignment and insight into our IT spending and reduce the number of legacy networks we had," said Markland. "It was really a business decision. The network was looked at as an administrative function. After the events of 9/11 and through our experiences with the NMCI contract, good and bad, the Navy realized that we probably gave up a little too much control and needed to start reevaluating how we look at the network as a warfighting platform as opposed to an administrative support function."
NGEN will provide increased control and flexibility, buying power, security and improved services for the DON.
"The full transition to the NGEN contract signifies a huge cost savings for the DON in the operation of the NMCI," said Capt. Michael Abreu, program manager for Naval Enterprise Networks Program Management Office. The contract will save the Navy approximately $1 billion over the Five Year Defense Program.
Markland and his team at NAVIDFOR have been instrumental throughout the implementation process of NGEN, from the initial focus group that developed the network Command and Control (C2) strategy and corresponding requirements to its completed implementation on Oct. 1, 2014.
"At the end of the day, it's all about supporting the fleet. We had to get a better handle on managing and controlling our network. Through collaboration across multiple organizations within the acquisition and operational communities, we boldly started transforming our domain and integrated capability to deliver improved network services, ultimately enabling our warfighters to do the Navy's business," said Markland.
NAVIDFOR is the Navy's global readiness-focused TYCOM responsible for providing Navy Information Dominance capabilities afloat and ashore. It provides commanders ashore and afloat, forward deployable, combat-ready information dominance forces capable of conducting prompt and sustained naval, joint and combined operations in support of U.S. national interests.
For more news from Navy Cyber Forces, visit http://www.navy.mil/local/navidfor/.