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    NIWC Pacific’s new test lab to deliver agile, government-owned testing solutions

    NIWC Pacific’s new test lab to deliver agile, government-owned testing solutions

    Photo By Alan Antczak | 220616-N-YN244-1017 SAN DIEGO (June 16, 2022) Victor Robinson, service validation and...... read more read more



    Courtesy Story

    Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific

    A new, state-of-the-art Navy/Marine Corps Intranet (NMCI) Naval Enterprise Networks (NEN) Baseline Lab achieved full operational capability in June 2022 after six years of planning and development, representing an operational paradigm shift from a contractor-owned and -operated test infrastructure to a fully government-owned structure that enables rapid end-to-end testing in like-live environments.

    The Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) Pacific Naval Enterprise Networks team, in conjunction with the Program Executive Office, Digital and Enterprise Services (PEO DES) and Next Generation Enterprise Network Service, Management, Integration and Transport contractor team, successfully established the enterprise networks test and validation lab onboard NIWC Pacific’s Topside facility. The NMCI/NEN Baseline Lab is the result of a six-year collaboration initiated by Naval Information Warfare Systems Command Chief Information Officer, Tonya Nishio and PEO DES’s Ruth Youngs Lew, program executive officer.

    “Establishing a fully integrated NEN lab at a government facility is a critical component of naval network transformation; providing continuity, improved agility, accelerated innovation, enhanced security and significant cost avoidance,” said Nishio. “The collaborative design and operations provide a win-win solution for the government and the NEN contractor and enable needed innovation cell activities across the program.”

    NMCI, one of the largest intranets in the world, is the base systems network the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps use for secure communications among more than 700,000 Sailors, Marines and civilians globally.

    Within this test lab, NIWC Pacific engineers can conduct independent tests and validation of NMCI solutions prior to deployment, circumventing potential contracting delays and ensuring testing occurs in the most up-to-date operational environments. This means getting proven solutions into the hands of warfighters more quickly, in line with the goal outlined in the 2022 Chief of Naval Operations Navigation Plan to deploy modernized systems at the speed of innovation.

    “The success of the lab’s opening is directly attributable to an incredible team of talented engineers and command leadership committed to delivering state-of-the-art capabilities to the Navy,” said Doug Powell, enterprise communications and networks deputy for operations and author of the inter-agency lab operations agreement.

    It’s been more than two decades since the government has owned a dedicated NMCI test and evaluation lab. Now, the Navy-owned, contractor-operated Baseline Lab gives NIWC Pacific ownership over testing processes while maintaining its partnerships through contract support.

    This could mean cost savings, better continuity of operations, and the agility needed to rapidly deploy network solutions to the warfighter. It's also a step towards greater connectivity among other Naval networks and government cloud environments and promotes collaboration with industry.

    Such a win required teaming across the naval enterprise and its network of partners, Susie Hartzog, communications and networks department head at NIWC Pacific, explained: “The planning and building out of this lab has been a multi-year effort. I’m thankful to PEO DES for having the foresight and resources to recognize the value of investing in a government-owned, contractor-operated test lab. I’m also incredibly proud of the collaboration our NIWC Pacific team has fostered with our industry partners.”

    The NEN team — led by Minh Tran, integrated product team lead — oversaw substantial facility modernization, established network connectivity for robust equipment infrastructure, and executed more than 2,000 test events to ensure the lab can support the development and testing demands of the enterprise.

    “For us to start developing and testing for such a large infrastructure of solutions is a big deal,” said Alex Turgano, NIWC Pacific communications and networks branch head. “We can test in a reproduction of the operational environment, which can minimize end-user challenges when solutions are deployed into operations.”

    Scalability is built into the Baseline Lab’s foundations, which was designed to expand to meet future requirements. “The lab will grow,” said Bill Huggins, NEN test and evaluation assistant program manager, who acts as NEN co-lead with Victor Robinson, service validation and testing team lead. “Already we have plans for it to grow so we can keep going fast. We have five available racks allocated for a pipeline of future projects already.”

    As a part of NAVWAR, NIWC Pacific’s mission is to conduct research, development, engineering, and support of integrated command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, cyber, and space systems across all warfighting domains, and to rapidly prototype, conduct test and evaluation, and provide acquisition, installation, and in-service engineering support.



    Date Taken: 08.15.2022
    Date Posted: 08.15.2022 19:20
    Story ID: 427315
    Location: SAN DIEGO, CA, US 

    Web Views: 231
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