“A lot” needs to be done to prepare for the the Naval Network Environment (NNE 2016), an effort to integrate network architectures “afloat and ashore,” according to Department of the Navy CIO Robert Carey’s blog post from last week. The NNE 2016 is the Next-Generation Network Environment (NGEN) successor network to the Navy/Marine Corps Intranet (NMCI), and 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.”
In February, CIO Carey wrote that DON is closing the current Navy and Marine Corps Intranet (NMCI) and moving toward the Next Generation Enterprise Network (NGEN), hoping to completely phase out legacy IT projects and begin the process of migrating to NGEN this year.
The NNE 2016’s goals are driven by requirements including 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 writes that three major changes need to be made within the DON to ensure U.S. success in “Information Age” warfare:
- Agility: Carey writes, “We must be able to make decisions in near real time and adjust our network security within months not years.” IT’s rapid evolution 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.” This change recalls his priority of “agile decision-making” from earlier this year, when he wrote that the Navy “strives to perform like an enterprise, so we can leverage the buying power of the DON or DoD where appropriate.”
- Budget Process: CIO Carey observes that our current budgetary process is incompatible with Moore’s Law (the theory 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.” In February, he wrote that Enterprise Architecture (EA) will be the main tool driving interoperability and cost management, so look for any budget process overhaul this year to have broad EA implications for DON.
- Acquisition Process: One of CIO Carey’s concerns is that the current acquisition process is built around lengthy development cycles for big-budget 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. Earlier this year, he wrote “Everyone is a cyber warrior and as such will require better and different training. The Cyber Age is here, and we must accelerate our knowledge of the network as a tool to perform our work.” He also discussed identity management, writing that DON is seeking “identity-based physical and logical access standards-based model” that is interoperable across the federal government and allied governments, again, hinting at broader EA goals. The Navy is also working on a standard operations manual that will leverage Navy and Marine Corps cyber assets to ensure that Navy/Marine Corps missions continue uninterrupted in the event of a cyber incident.