7 ways the Navy wants to update its network

The Department of the Navy officially reached the end of the beginning of its network convergence and modernization effort called NGEN-R.

The DoN’s Program Executive Office-Enterprise Information Systems issued the second of two requests for proposals under the Next Generation Enterprise Network Recompete (NGEN-R) for service management, integration and transport services.

“Separating IT services into multiple contract segments makes management, financial and competitive sense for the Navy,” said Capt. Ben McNeal, Naval Enterprise Networks program manager in a release.

PEO-EIS released the first of the NGEN-R contracts in mid-September to replace and support more than 400,000 pieces of IT hardware across 600,000 users. Proposals are due Nov. 19 for the end-user support RFP.

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In this latest RFP, the DoN wants to move its three major networks, the Navy Marine Corps Intranet (NMCI), the Outside Continental United States (OCONUS) Navy Enterprise Network (ONE-Net), the Marine Corps Enterprise Network (MCEN), as well as other legacy networks under one oversight and management umbrella.

“The Navy CONUS Management Domain will consist of the existing NMCI and a new Navy Enterprise Operations Support System (NOSS) domain and framework. The NOSS, which includes an out of band network and a cross domain solution (must be delivered to operationally integrate and align all current and future information technology and cyber-enabled initiatives, while simultaneously allowing for end-to-end reporting, management, and defense of the DoD Information Networks, Navy (DODIN-N) starting with the NMCI,” the RFP states. “The NOSS will be government-owned, government operated (GO/GO), contractor supported operational framework for which the DODIN-N ecosystem can be holistically managed as a warfighting platform. The NMCI will remain a government-owned, contractor-operated (GO/CO) network. The Navy OCONUS Management Domain is GO/GO and GO/CO, but will migrate to GO/CO during the ONE-Net convergence process.”

SMIT is the larger and more complex of the two contracts, with the winning vendor delivering most of the IT infrastructure that makes up the Navy’s portion of the Navy-Marine Corps Intranet (NMCI), including voice, video and data services, and serve as the lead integrator for tying smaller service providers together. The contractor will also provide support services to the Marines, which own and operate their portion of NMCI.

NMCI Services are structured across seven service areas:

  • Productivity
  • User support
  • Transport services
  • Cloud computing services
  • Network operations
  • IT service management
  • Enabling activities

Bids on the RFP are due Jan. 10.

“We have to do tech refresh, which is obsolescence-based to pace the threat at any given time as to what identified with our hardware and software product line,” McNeal said at the AFCEA Navy IT Day in Arlington, Virginia on Oct. 1. “We spend a lot of dollars doing so and that’s just to get you compliance. Then there are a number of cybersecurity unknowns. Things I did not know the previous year that I need to do this year. By the time I get done with compliance and by the time I get done with all the emerging requirements I spend a lot of dollars that would otherwise be spent on transformation.”

The recompetition of the NGEN contract has been in the works for several years, and has been delayed several times as Navy officials sought the best way to break the existing contract structure into smaller pieces, while also integrating other IT networks, such as the overseas ONE-Net.

The new contracts, known as “NGEN-R,” will replace the single $3.5 billion award the Navy made to HP in 2013. Despite a series of corporate acquisitions, spinoffs and mergers, various iterations of the same corporate entity (now called Perspecta) have been responsible for managing NMCI since its inception 18 years ago.