Navy takes steps toward simpler, swifter, more secure communications network
SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — The Navy’s worldwide communications — including between individual sailors — are about to become simpler, swifter and more secure, Navy officials predict.
That’s because ONE-NET — the Outside Continental United States-Navy Enterprise Network — now is taking shape in the Pacific and elsewhere, said Lt. Cmdr. Ralph Roe, detachment officer of Sasebo’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, or SPAWAR.
Among ONE-NET’s advantages: Making communicating by e-mail easier by letting everyone on a facility use the same e-mail domain and global address book.
The new network already is in the early stages of replacing most of the mini-networks at bases from London to Guam and should be operating in the Pacific by September 2007, a recent Navy news report stated.
“It is very similar to what’s been done with the Navy/Marine Corps Intranet stateside, and the IT-21 network that serves the ships,” Roe said. “ONE-NET will … create a centralized network at each base for all the command and tenant commands. Right now, even here in Sasebo, we have as many as nine different LANs” (local area networks) — navy.mil, pac.odedodea.edu and nhyoko.med.navy.mil, among others. The idea, he said, is to simplify all that.
When completed, the new ONE-NET potentially would affect more than 41,000 users across three distinct theaters: Europe, the Middle East and the Far East.
“Networking technicians started work on a Base Level Information Infrastructure, or BLII, which is providing some of the same features that ONE-NET supports,” Roe said.
“That’s why you see more and more use of the ‘sasebo.navy.mil’ domain. ONE-NET will do much the same thing but will include the entire base and be done at each base. And SPAWAR will provide the project’s oversight.”
Other benefits, Roe said, include employing a single “pipe” for all official Internet users on the bases, which translates into more bandwidth (speed) at network user levels. The higher the bandwidth, the more data that can be transmitted in the same amount of time. It’s comparable to the amount of water flowing in a massive river instead of a branch of that river.
ONE-NET also will centralize data and e-mail management, Roe said, “thereby reducing the burden on individual commands to have extensive IT expertise.”
For the Europe and the Far East theaters, much of the infrastructure is in place, Eric Markland, a consultant to the Navy on the ONE-NET project, stated in the news report.
Those theaters “will transition in various stages over the next 12 months. We expect to start refreshing the first one-third of all PCs with brand new workstations in the new year. We’re on a three-year schedule — that is, after three years, every ONE-NET user will have a new PC, then we start over again,” Markland stated in the report.
Consolidating overseas computer networks under one central operations center also will boost security, Roe said. “ONE-NET will provide information assurance and information security services to everyone on the network. In the past, commands have set up their own networks and connections without security services such as firewalls.”
And ONE-NET should make staying in touch easier. Maintaining contact with colleagues can be difficult “since those of us in the Navy tend to move somewhere else every few years,” Roe said. “This will make it much easier to find the current correct location and e-mail address of those contacts.”
So far, only Naval Support Activity Bahrain has been 100 percent converted to ONE-NET, the report noted.