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DON CIO Robert Carey: Why the Future of the Naval Networking Environment Is Important

DON CIO Robert Carey
DON CIO Robert Carey

There is “a lot to be done” to transition to the Naval Network Environment (NNE 2016), according to Department of the Navy CIO Robert Carey’s latest blog post.  NNE 2016 is an effort to integrate network architectures both “afloat and ashore.”  The NNE 2016 is defined as “A Department of the Navy net-centric environment that securely leverages the full range of information and cyber resources enabling rapid, on-demand, ubiquitous access to any content for authenticated users and systems in support of the Joint enterprise environment and all Navy and Marine Corps strategic, operational and tactical missions.”

Carey’s definition is driven by needs like the ability to fight immediately upon arrival with secure communications, more complete c4ISR (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) capabilities, moving toward an “information culture,” secure information sharing and a comprehensive identity management protocol allowing role-based information access and “attribute-based access control.”

Carey detailed changes that must be made to ensure U.S. success in “Information Age” warfare:

  1. Agility: Carey writes, “We must be able to make decisions in near real time and adjust our network security within months not years.”  The rapid evolution of IT requires “in-execution year” decisions, and the Navy “must achieve Unity of Command/Effort and Governance to ensure that decisions are made and enforced rapidly across the enterprise.”
  2. Budget Process: Carey writes that our current budgetary process is incompatible with Moore’s Law (the idea that computing power doubles every two years) and the implications of the Information Age. “Our present POM cycle, while excellent for the acquisition of ships, tanks and planes, does not support nascent information technology changes in the 21st century.”
  3. Acquisition Process: Another area of concern for Carey is that the present acquisition processes is optimized for the lengthy development processes of aircraft and ships but not shorter IT cycle times and the realities of the cyber warfare. “The Federal Acquisition Regulation/Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation and Department of Defense 5000 series of acquisition policies all allow for tailoring, but have we done so?” He asks.

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