The defense industry will get a chance to scrutinize and help shape one of the U.S. Navy’s flagship information technology programs when the service releases in the coming months its draft requests for proposal for the mammoth Next Generation Enterprise Networks Recompete (NGEN-R) multibillion-dollar contract.
A contracting approach common in business-to-business contracts may serve as the model for the next phase of the U.S. Navy’s Next Generation Enterprise Network, or NGEN. The multibillion dollar effort, which began with a single contract awarded in a competitive process, might be parsed into segments when the current contract lapses, which will occur in 2018.
The U.S. Navy’s Next-Generation Enterprise Network (NGEN) is establishing a formal feedback procedure to seek best practice solutions from industry. Known as Technology Exchange Meetings (TEMs), this new approach will focus on lessons learned that could be applied to military systems.
Speaking at the NGEN Re-Compete Industry Day II in Tysons, Virginia, Andrew Tash, chief engineer for Naval Enterprise Networks, explained the TEM philosophy represents a continued dialogue with industry. Emphasizing that the Navy does not want “a sales pitch,” Tash said industry would submit white papers describing how it solved a particular challenge in the private sector and how the solution could be applied to the Navy’s network needs.
The U.S. Navy released its second request for information in preparation for the recompete of a multi-billion dollar contract that provides network-centric data and services to Navy and Marine Corps personnel. The Next Generation Enterprise Network (NGEN) is the follow-on effort to the consolidation in 2000 under the Navy Marine Corps Intranet (NMCI) contract. It is the government’s largest information technology outsourcing program.
The U.S. Navy now plans to award the Next Generation Enterprise Network (NGEN) contract(s) for transport and enterprise services in May rather than on February 12, as originally planned, service officials announced The delay is due to the complexities of the NGEN requirements and the need to complete a thorough review of the bids, Navy officials say.
After several months of drafts and comments, the U.S. Navy now has released the request for proposal (RFP) for its Next Generation Enterprise Network, or NGEN. The 1,100-page RFP provides guidance for prospective bidders on a contract that likely will total 4.5 billion dollars.
Capt. Shawn P. Hendricks, USN, is the program manager for PMW-205 Naval Enterprise Networks. He says that the RFP's size is what makes it stand out among other RFPs. "It's enormous," he states, "and they [bidders] will have to eat it one bite at a time. Yet, at the end of the day, it all has to work together."
Jacobs Technology Incorporated, Fort Walton Beach, Florida, is being awarded $42,442,430 for task order 0039 under previously awarded firm-fixed-priced contract (M67854-02-A-9017). This effort is for the continuity of services contract to continue information technology services until the transition to the Next Generation Enterprise Network is accomplished. The Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Virginia, is the contracting activity.
Just as easily as a car bearing a pre-paid sticker automatically passes through a smart-card-operated tollbooth, sailors will be able to pass from ship to shore, and vice versa-and access networks-using new U.S. Navy-developed identification (ID) technology. Daniel P. Taylor discusses this new program, known as CANES-for Consolidated Afloat Networks and Enterprise Services-in his article "Shipboard and Land Networks to Become Shipmates" in this issue of SIGNAL Magazine.
On race day, the rallying cry is "Gentlemen, start your engines!" But in the case of the Next Generation Enterprise Network (NGEN)-that opening shot is being delayed by nearly three and a half years via a continuity-of-services (CoS) contract designed to accommodate the complexities of a full-scale transition from the current 10-year-old Navy/Marine Corps Intranet (NMCI). Originially slated to hit the track in October, based on an April 2009 CoS contract with NMCI vendor Electronic Data Systems (since acquired by Hewlett-Packard), officials realized the switchover would take more effort and time to complete.
The U.S. Navy’s Next Generation Enterprise Network, or NGEN, is on schedule to complete its transition on October 1, according to Navy and contractor officials. While the transition has not been without unexpected challenges, it has been relatively seamless to the user, the officials note. The transition has reached 74 percent of its seats and more than 90 percent of its overall activity, they add.
As implemented, the NGEN program should be “flexible and agile” enough to address changing Navy missions and force structure, the officials offer. This agility includes the ability to modify the contract if necessary.
The Defense Department drive toward its Joint Information Environment is picking up speed as it progresses toward its goal of assimilating military networks across the warfighting realm. Individual services are developing solutions, some of which are targeted for their own requirements, that are being applied to the overarching goal of linking the entire defense environment.
Early successes in Europe have advanced Joint Information Environment (JIE) efforts elsewhere, including the continental United States. Some activities have been accelerated as a result of lessons learned, and they have been implemented ahead of schedule in regions not slated to receive them for months or even years.
A tactical technology support organization that has been serving the U.S. Marines for decades is beginning to find a role in the cyber domain. The group offers a broad range of services, including test and evaluation, engineering and network integration. It also supports users across the Defense Department, U.S. government and allies.
Future defense information technology is likely to focus on a set of services instead of specific elements. Accordingly, bidders likely will consist of industry teams bringing diverse expertise to the acquisition table.
This view was offered by Terry Halvorsen, Department of the Navy chief information officer, at the breakfast during the final day of TechNet Asia-Pacific 2013 in Honolulu, Hawaii. Halvorsen cited the Navy’s Next-Generation Enterprise Network (NGEN) acquisition as an example of the future. The winning bidder was a consortium that comprised several different companies
The U.S. Navy’s Next Generation Enterprise Network, freed from the challenge to its contract award, now enters a phase of uncertainty as the government and the winning bidder confront the aftermath of a 108-day delay. This delay has affected both the Navy’s and the contractor’s plans for the transition from the Navy/Marine Corps Intranet.
The delay in implementing the U.S. Navy’s Next Generation Enterprise Network (NGEN) caused by the contract challenge to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has affected more than just the transition time frame. The network transition will cost more for the Navy because of lost funding opportunities.
The Navy lost the ability to use funds in fiscal year 2013, because the protest was not resolved until a month into fiscal year 2014. So, all the transition costs will have to be borne on funds in fiscal years 2014 and 2015. Fiscal year 2013 funds earmarked for NGEN could not be applied to the transition because of the stop-work order imposed with the challenge.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has dismissed the protest of the U.S. Navy's Next Generation Enterprise Network (NGEN). As a result, the original winner of the $3.5 billion contract—a consortium headed by HP—officially has won the competition.
The U.S. Navy’s Next-Generation Enterprise Network will introduce a host of new capabilities for users when it is implemented. These improvements will become apparent over time as the system’s flexibility allows for technology upgrades and operational innovation on the part of its users.
The network’s overall goals remain the same despite a protest over the contract award. However the protest is resolved, the program is designed to provide networking at less cost and with more flexibility to adjust for changes that emerge as a result of operational demand or technology improvements. These new capabilities could range from greater use of mobile technologies to virtual desktops dominating user environments.
Despite small pockets of resistance, officials across the U.S. Defense Department and military services support the convergence of multiple networks into one common, shared, global network. Lessons learned from the theater of operations indicate the need for the joint environment, which will provide enterprise services such as email, Internet access, common software applications and cloud computing.
The steady march toward the U.S. Navy’s Next-Generation Enterprise Network underwent a leap ahead as the U.S. Marines undertook a full transition before the contract for the new system even was awarded. The multiyear effort saw the Corps methodically absorb functions of the Navy/Marine Corps Intranet predecessor so the service was positioned for a smooth adoption of the new network.
The two companies heading a consortium that did not win the U.S. Navy’s $3.5 billion Next-Generation Enterprise Network (NGEN) have registered a protest with the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). This move effectively stops all work on NGEN until the GAO rules on their protest, which must occur by October 23.