Authorities within Navy Information Technology Enterprise


An enterprise is any organization with a common purpose or mission that shares resources and collaborates to deliver results required to achieve the common purpose of mission (INCOSE 2016). While typically associated with a large organization or broad span of control, an enterprise could be a smaller group meeting the above description. This smaller group, along with other enterprises may be part of a larger enterprise, which could in turn be part of an even larger enterprise. The U.S. Navy is an enterprise whose mission is to “maintain, train and equip combat-ready Navy forces capable of winning wars, deterring aggression and maintain freedom of the seas” (SecNav 2016). The Navy along with the Army, Airforce, Coast Guard and Joint Command enterprises are all part of DOD enterprise. The Navy enterprise divides into smaller sub-enterprises each with a common mission. Examples of Navy sub-enterprises may include a carrier strike group, the Air Warfare Forces, the Navy System Engineering Commands and the Navy IT Enterprise (Secretary of the Navy 2016).

The Navy IT Enterprise is composed of six principal stakeholder categories. The stakeholder categories align to the role each group plays in terms of recognized authority in the process. The DAS has a complex system of roles and authorities each intended to create a balance between mission needs, system design criteria, fiscal surety and compliance to U.S. government policies and laws (Undersecretary of Defense [AT&L] 2015). The roles and responsibilities within the Navy are defined within Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Instruction 5400.15c, Department of the Navy Research and Development, Acquisition, Associated Life-Cycle Management, and Logistics Responsibility’s and Accountability (SecNav 2007).

The Navy Acquisition Executive

United Stated Code (U.S.C.) Title 10 establishes the Secretary of each defense component as the single point of authority and accountability for the acquisition functions within each department. Title 10 also stipulates that no other entity will establish an acquisition function outside of the authority of the SECNAV. The Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) requires the Secretary of each component to establish a senior level party to lead acquisition functions as a full-time responsibility. Secretary of the Navy has assigned the role of Naval Acquisition Executive (NAE) to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (ASN) for Research, Development and Acquisition (RDA) (SecNav 2007).

The ASN RDA and the Office of the ASN RDA represent the Naval Acquisition Executive (NAE) stakeholder group represented in the architecture models and needs analysis for this investigation.

Operational Stakeholders

The operational stakeholders are the users of the technological capabilities of the enterprise. Within U.S. military operations, the Navy, along with the Army, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard, are force providers to one of the U.S. Unified Combatant Commanders (COCOM) each charged with the execution of U.S. strategic objectives in a geographic or functional area (DOD [STRATCOM] 2016). As the Navy mission states, it provides trained and equipped staff ready to execute naval warfare as part of the unified command structure. The equipment includes Navy surface, sub surface and aloft platforms along with the weapon systems and information technology required to execute it assigned role within the unified command (Secretary of the Navy 2016). Type commanders (TYCOM) within the Navy represent each of the major mission areas. Each TYCOM is responsible for the training, organizing and equipping of forces for each mission area. For example, Commander, Naval Air Forces (CNAF) manages and prioritizes the operational needs for Navy’s air-based forces. CNAF defines and communicates the staffing, training and material needs for all Navy air missions (CNAF 2016).

Navy operational forces assigned to COCOMs represent the naval combatant component of the COCOM and are composed of resources from various TYCOMs. These forces take the form of various organizations such as a carrier strike group, a battle group or task force. While the TYCOM is responsible for the readiness of the forces, the Navy commander of the forces assigned to a COCOM is responsible for executing tasked assigned by the COCOM (SecNav 2016); (DOD [Joint Staff] 2016); (DOD [STRATCOM] 2016).

The architecture models and needs analysis for this investigation include the members of the operational stakeholder group along with the roles these stakeholders play in the Navy IT Enterprise.

Resource Authorities

Within the IT enterprise the responsibility of ensuring all Navy forces are operational ready, trained, staffed and equipped to execute Navy missions is the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO). The CNO and the Office of the CNO is the principal resource provider to the Navy forces. The CNO as the senior ranking officer of the Navy is the party that directs the allocation of forces from the TYCOMS to the COCOMs. The CNO has authority and accountability for all operational resources within the Navy (CNO PAO 2016). The SECNAV Instruction 5400.15C assigns the responsibility of vetting and prioritizing requirements to the CNO and the Commandant of the Marine Corps (CMC) in their role of force provider and operational commanders of all naval forces (SecNav 2007).

The CNO, the Office of the CNO (OPNAV), the CMC and HQ Marine Corps are members of the resource authorities’ stakeholder group. The architecture models and needs analysis for this investigation includes this stakeholder group and the roles performed within the Navy IT enterprise.

Acquisition Authorities

The ASN-RDA executes programs through a series of program executive officers (PEOs) and program management offices (PMOs), each charged with the design, delivery and sustainment of the Navy enterprise’s capabilities. Navy PEOs represent the acquisition arm of the Navy enterprise delivering platforms, systems and weapons to the Navy operational forces (SecNav 2007). As every Navy capability has embedded IT, no PEO is isolated from IT. The three IT focused organizations are PEO Space Systems, PEO Enterprise Information Systems (EIS) and PEO Command, Control, Communications, Computing and Intelligence (C4I) (USN [SPAWAR] 2016). A fourth PEO, Integrated Warfare Systems (IWS) delivers combat systems that are information intensive and have a high level of integration with the systems provided by PEOs C4I and Space (Washburn 2010); (PEO IWS 2015).

The ASN RDA along with these four PEOs represent the primary acquisition authority stakeholders. This stakeholder group and the roles performed within the Navy IT enterprise are included in the architecture models and needs analysis for this investigation.

Technical Authorities

The technical execution arm of the Navy IT enterprise is composed of six Navy systems commands (SYSCOMS). Each SYSCOM has an area of engineering and scientific expertise associated with the delivery of platforms, weapons, combat systems and IT systems. The SYSCOMs represent the systems engineering community within the Navy. As with the PEOs, no element of the SYSCOM community is isolated from IT. Space and Naval Warfare (SPAWAR) is the recognized IT and the information warfare systems provider to the Navy. The SYSCOMS report and are accountable to ASN RDA for technical performance of Navy programs and systems under his authority as NAE. As the military commands responsible for ensuring readiness of Navy capabilities, the SYSCOMS report operationally to the CNO as part of the military forces (USN [SPAWAR] 2016); (CNO PAO 2016); (ASN [RDA] 2016).

Each SYSCOM is responsible for the application of technical authority (TA) over all programs and projects under their cognizance. This authority includes the projects executed by PEOs aligned to each SYSCOM. The PEOs Space, EIS and C4I align to SPAWAR and PEO IWS aligns with NAVSEA. TA is the authority, responsibility, and accountability to establish, monitor and approve technical standards, tools, and processes in conformance with applicable Department of Defense (DOD) and DON policy, requirements, architectures, and standards (Secretary of the Navy 2007).

Each SYSCOM is responsible to govern the Navy capabilities aligned to its organization. In 2012, ASN RDA assigned an additional TA to SPAWAR to cover all IT systems implementation within the Navy. This IT TA does not supersede the existing authorities assigned to the SYSCOMS but it does assign the responsibility of establishing information assurance and interoperability controls for all systems within the Navy (ASN RDA and CNO 2012); (SecNav 2007).

The SYSCOMS are members of the Technical Authority (TA) stakeholder group. The architecture models and needs analysis for this investigation includes this stakeholder group and the roles performed within the Navy IT enterprise.

The Chief Information Officer


The DOD CIO leads the DOD segment of the CIO network with a CIO at each level of the department, its components and commands (Department of Defense [CIO] 2016). The authorities and expectation of the government’s CIOs were further clarified in the Section VIII, Subtitle D Defense Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2015 (2014). The Act states all covered agencies shall ensure that the Chief Information Officer of all U.S. government agencies have a significant role in

the decision processes for all annual and multiyear planning, programming, budgeting, and execution decisions, related reporting requirements, and reports related to information technology; and the management, governance, and oversight processes related to information technology. (PL 113–291 113th Congress)

The Department of the Navy (DON) CIO reports to the DOD CIO who in turn reports to the Federal CIO. The Federal CIO is a senior executive within the President’s Office of Management and Budget. Within the DON, the Marine Corps and Navy each have CIOs assigned at the headquarters level and each echelon of their respective command structures (Secretary of the Navy 2016; Executive Office of the President [CIO] 2016)

The DON CIO and the command CIOs represent the policy stakeholder group within the Naval IT Enterprise charged within implementing the President’s Enterprise Information vision within the statutes defined by Congress.

For more information on the history of the CIO See The Chief Information Officer (CIO)

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