Navy begins to embrace ICITE capabilities, Haith says

Janice Haith, deputy CIO, Navy Department

wfedstaff |

The Defense Department has been taking baby-steps over the last year toward deploying the intelligence community’s shared services plan — the Intelligence Community Information Technology Environment (ICITE) — to its components.

Janice Haith, the deputy chief information officer for the Navy Department, said the Navy is making strides in leveraging ICITE. “As of two weeks ago, we have finally, as a service, have been afforded the opportunity to start moving out with embracing...

READ MORE

The Defense Department has been taking baby-steps over the last year toward deploying the intelligence community’s shared services plan — the Intelligence Community Information Technology Environment (ICITE) — to its components.

Janice Haith, the deputy chief information officer for the Navy Department, said the Navy is making strides in leveraging ICITE.

Janice Haith, deputy CIO, Navy Department (Navy photo)
“As of two weeks ago, we have finally, as a service, have been afforded the opportunity to start moving out with embracing those capabilities that they’re already using for the good of the services,” Haith told an industry audience Friday, at an AFCEA luncheon in Tysons Corner, Virginia. “So the Navy has decided that we’re going go embrace the basic vision of ICITE.”

The Navy’s concern, though, is addressing intelligence issues both on ship and on land, while delivering IT in an efficient manner.

“We’re concerned about how we’re going to deliver these capabilities on ships, given the rooms that we have for IT and some of the other changes that we’ve got going on, but ensuring that we get the capability to the warfighter timely and that they can execute it timely,” she said.

Haith told the AFCEA audience that she was at a meeting recently where Adm. Jonathan Greenert, chief of naval operations, emphasized the importance of delivering more precision information in a timely fashion.

“We need to get it out some of our ships a little bit sooner,” she said. “Sometimes we’re having some lapses in transport. But we also rely on SATCOM, and that’s a challenge we have, and we’ve got to do something about our SATCOM, both for the intelligence side and the non-intelligence side.”

The Navy, according to Haith, recognizes the mission agility ICITE would afford the service and that the intelligence community has already mastered some elements on the non-intelligence side.

“They’re much more forward-thinking in some areas,” she said. “They’re able to put those solutions out there faster than we are. They don’t have some of the acquisition challenges we have. So with that, we get those benefits and we’re trying to push them down to the non-intelligence sector.”

One of the goals of ICITE is to deliver user-focused capabilities.

“We’re doing more with our users to ensure that we get those capabilities to them, but they’re easier to use, they’re understandable and trying to embrace commercial solutions and technology,” Haith said.

In addition, everything Navy IT does will be done from an enterprise perspective. The days of silos and stovepipes are over, she said.

One of the biggest challenges for Navy, though, is establishing effective governance and oversight.

“It’s like herding cats,” Haith said. “‘Can’t do it. Can’t get it done.’ Everybody complains and then it’s the year of execution, it’s probably the hardest thing we have to do.”

The Navy continues to forge strategic partnerships, both on the intelligence and non-intelligence side. For example, the Navy is reaching out to its maritime partner, the Coast Guard, even though it’s a component of the Homeland Security Department.

“They have a larger presence in the Pacific area than we realized until about a year ago,” Haith said. “So, we are working with them on opportunities so we can do things. We have some facilities in some places that we’re looking at maybe we should co-locate. We’re looking at things like leveraging their help desk in some areas. It might be beneficial to us, it might be beneficial to them.”

The Coast Guard could also be a future partner in the the intelligence and non-intelligence maritime operation centers that the Navy runs.

“Improved efficiency and effectiveness” has been a mantra in DoD ever since President George W. Bush was in the White House, and it’s still a principle the Navy continues to work toward. The difference these days, though, is the addition of cybersecurity.

“We are really focused on what we’re doing with security,” Haith said. “We have not given it enough time and attention in the past, but we have to now. That’s a challenge that we have, not just from the war force but how we build our capabilities.”

In September, the Navy completed its full transition to the NGEN enterprise IT network.

“Right now, the Navy is at a place where everybody else in the department wanted to be,” Haith said. “So, we’re already there. We’re looking to the future and we don’t want to go back. But we are 100 percent in support of what’s going on.”

RELATED STORIES:

Pentagon looks to build a bridge between military, intelligence IT consolidation efforts

Navy, Marine Corps still unsure about migrating to enterprise email