Navy-Marine Intranet System Gets Added Boost
Defense: Pentagon Budget Contains Nearly $2 Billion in Funding
BY BRAD GRAVES
The Pentagon is pumping more cash into the Navy’s ambitious information technology project for shore bases, which is responsible for 700 jobs in San Diego County.
The Defense Department in late October awarded prime contractor Electronic Data Systems Corp. a two-year, $1.9 billion extension to its base contract for the Navy Marine Corps Intranet.
Congress passed legislation specifically related to the extension, which President George W. Bush signed Oct. 30.
Now the contract’s five base years, agreed upon in October 2000, are seven. With options, the contract could run to October 2010.
Published reports have said the Navy program has been a drain on EDS.
The intranet is designed to link Navy and Marine bases across the continental United States, as well as in Hawaii, Puerto Rico and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. All computers on the system are united behind a common firewall.
The Navy maintains a network operations center for the intranet on North Island. The contractors also run a help desk near Old Town.
The minimum guaranteed value of the contract’s base period is now $6 billion, according to the Navy. If the three option years are exercised, the contract minimum will increase to $8.8 billion.
As of Nov. 1 the intranet extended to more than 35,000 seats, or terminals. The San Diego-based Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, or Spawar, which is handling the intranet contract, is now on the system.
At build-out, the system is expected to serve 360,000 desktops.
The 700 local jobs are with EDS as well as its subcontractors, said EDS spokesman Kevin Clarke. The project has significant small business participation.
Texas-based EDS leads a partnership of large companies, including Raytheon, that are providing the communications service. What’s more, the private partnership is leasing the Dell computer equipment to the Navy and Marine Corps. Computers are to be refreshed as they become outdated.
WorldCom is the major telecommunications subcontractor on the project. Capt. Craig Madsen, Spawar program manager for the intranet project, told a military conference here Nov. 1 that WorldCom’s bankruptcy “has not affected us.”
Indeed, the federal government showed confidence in WorldCom last week when, in an unrelated move, the Department of Veterans Affairs awarded the company a contract to serve more than 175 Veterans Medical Centers and clinics nationwide, including those in San Diego.
One aim of the intranet project has been to cut down on the variety of computer applications the Navy uses. That number has been reduced from 100,000 to 30,000, said Madsen.
The Marine Corps has dropped the number of applications it uses to 428.
The common intranet replaces more than 100 legacy networks. Analysts found 140,000 security vulnerabilities in those networks, Madsen said.
In related news, Naval Air Systems Command recently put an enterprise resource planning system into place, bringing it to some computers on North Island as well as its headquarters in Patuxent River, Md. The system rides on the Navy Marine Corps Intranet.
Enterprise resource planning, or ERP, puts finance, project planning and budgeting, procurement and human resources into one system. Such a system draws on one pool of master data.