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CHIPS Articles: NCMS Launches DON Basic Communications Security Policy and Procedures Inter-active Courseware

NCMS Launches DON Basic Communications Security Policy and Procedures Inter-active Courseware
By Lt. Zachary Aardahl, NCMS Washington, D.C. - April-June 2017
JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. (NNS) – Naval Communication Security Material System (NCMS), in collaboration with Navy Information Forces, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, the Center for Information Warfare, and Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (SSC) Atlantic, launched the Department of the Navy Basic Communications Security Policy and Procedures Inter-active Courseware (COMSEC ICW) after much anticipation.

Clifford Henry, Technical Director at NCMS, is finally seeing his team’s hard work pay off as the project comes to life: “Recognizing the need to provide a comprehensive and in-depth, course of instruction on basic COMSEC Policy, NCMS led the effort to create an inter-active courseware that can be completed by COMSEC account personnel, auditors, COR (contracting officer representative) managers, etc., virtually any time and anywhere. The course is a prerequisite to any system-unique training and is used as part of the certification process for auditors and account management personnel. The Basic COMSEC Policy and Procedures ICW was completed six months ahead of schedule, created in-house by subject matter experts, and produced by CSRA. The COMSEC ICW is a keystone accomplishment of my career and one that I am very proud of.”

The COMSEC ICW began development to further engage COMSEC managers with policy-related content not afforded by the formal Electronic Key Management System and Key Management Infrastructure manager courses of instruction. Through partnership among Type Commanders (TYCOMS) it was decided that COMSEC policy education needed to be available on-demand so that managers could access the resources over a longer period of time to further internalize the information, which would otherwise not have been possible in a brick and mortar setting.

Seven individuals worked on the project for approximately 11,000 man hours. The team was consistently ahead of schedule and completed deployment of the finished course six months ahead of schedule. The COMSEC ICW covers 29 topics and takes approximately 16 hours to complete.

Completion of this training, in conjunction with an in-depth study of the new policy publications, will improve efficiency and reduce COMSEC incidents across the entire Department of the Navy. Approximately 1,500 Sailors, Marines, and civilians will complete the training within the next three years.

The COMSEC ICW is representative of the Navy’s continuing commitment to improving efficiency by integrating information technology into formal training curricula and providing for a more direct line of communication between subject matter experts and the fleet. “NCMS will continue to implement initiatives aimed at improving efficiency to better serve and engage with the fleet, the Marines and the Coast Guard,” said Cmdr. Don Wilson, NCMS’s commanding officer.

NCMS administers the Department of the Navy’s COMSEC program and serves as the Central Office of Record for accounts, COMSEC material and policy throughout the Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Military Sealift Command. The command provides leadership, guidance and support to the Navy's information assurance program as the Navy's leading authority on public key infrastructure for unclassified and classified networks.

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