NEW ORLEANS (NNS) -- The Navy Marine Corps Intranet (NMCI) is proceeding as planned within the Naval Reserve community, with NMCI computers arriving at Naval Reserve centers and other commands throughout the United States. Reserve centers are setting up NMCI accounts, and Reservists are getting their first tastes of the new system during drill weekends.
Reservists have read quite a bit about NMCI technology lately - about portals, rollouts, transitions, migrations, seats, networks and connectivity - but basic questions may remain. Physically, what exactly is NMCI, and what is its practical effect on Reservists? What do they have to do, and what are the benefits to Reservists and the Reserve Force as a whole?
Division Director for Systems Development (N61), Reserve Forces NMCI Transition Manager Lt. Cmdr. Scott Langley said, "Physically, NMCI is supported by several network operations centers (NOCs) and server farms throughout the continental United States. The NOCs are basically command-and-control centers, and the server farms are large groups of servers that control data. A server is a large, very powerful computer. The new desktop computers being issued to commands now are specially configured for NMCI. The server and desktop computers work together, comprising what is called a network."
Commander, Naval Reserve Force Command Information Officer Capt. Fred J. Mingo said, "All Reservists wishing to use NMCI will need to have an NMCI account, with a user name and password, at this point in time. In the future, the Common Access Card (CAC) - the new military ID card - will eliminate the need to enter your user name and password."
NMCI computers have a CAC "reader" built into the keyboard. In other words, the user sits down at the computer, puts the card in the reader, and gets online.
"Reserve centers are the keepers of the key, so to speak. Reservists need to contact their center staff regarding NMCI accounts and the CAC," Mingo said. "Reservists will also automatically get an NMCI e-mail account, which is to be used for military purposes."
The CAC is mandatory for all Reserve and active military personnel by Oct. 1.
Deputy Director for Future Operations, Communications, and Business Initiatives at the NMCI Office in Washington, Capt. Chris Christopher, said, "Outstanding connection speed, and the ability to save and access your work at any NMCI computer will greatly benefit Reservists and the Reserve Force. From the beginning, NMCI intent was to foster integration of the Reserve Force with the active-duty side. It has become clear that the Navy and Marine Corps Reserve are an integral part of Navy war fighting capability. Reservists need to be current in training and access to information. This is not a wish; it is essential. NMCI's objective is to provide universal access to all information necessary to do your job in the Reserves, shepherd your career in the Reserves and connect Reservists more closely with the active-duty Navy."
Home access to NMCI is also in the works. Mingo said, "There are still policy decisions to be worked out regarding security, but Reservists should know that the Navy has a stand-alone CAC reader for every single one of them to take home, and use to access NMCI on their home computer. E-mail access is actually available now, using Outlook Express."
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