SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Mullen announced Jan. 12 that he will soon stand up a separate N6 Directorate as part of the greater realignment effort of his Navy staff in Washington.
"In making this decision, I asked myself if the United States Navy is mature enough to handle an N6 Directorate," said Mullen. "I believe we are. I believe it's vital. I believe you've got to be aligned with the rest of those that are part of the business, whether it's space, information technology, command and control -- all these systems that are so important to our future."
The N6 Directorate will be responsible for managing resource allocation and program decisions for the Navy's information systems and networks. Mullen said he felt confident that the new N6 Directorate "will deliver the capabilities we need faster and put them in the hands of Sailors who are trying to confront the challenges in this new era of sea power."
Currently these functions are combined in the Navy's N6/N7 Directorate, led by Rear Adm. Mark J. Edwards.
The fast pace of change in technology and the ever-increasing importance of networks to modern warfare prompted the decision to break the N6 function out. But Mullen was quick to put the role played by networks in perspective.
"We can't have networks or platforms be at the center of the universe," he warned. "I want networks and platforms that put Sailors at the center of the universe. To empower the fleet, our networks must empower Sailors."
Mullen also made it clear that being able to better determine requirements and control costs factored heavily into his decision.
Speaking to the contractors in the audience, he promised to "deliver the clarity and stability you need to help produce systems and hold down costs -- clear requirements, disciplined requirements and requirements that don't change every three or four months."
Mullen made the announcement at the annual Armed Force Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) West 2006 conference in San Diego, co-sponsored by the AFCEA and the U.S. Naval Institute. The annual conference is one of the largest West coast events for communications, electronics, intelligence, information systems, imaging, military weapon systems, aviation and shipbuilding professionals to hear keynote speakers, participate in panel discussions and preview world-leading technology.
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