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U.S. Navy to Utilise Flank Speed Cloud

The Navy workforce will gain access to a single Microsoft Office 365 (M365) collaboration and productivity environment known as Flank Speed that will improve security starting on June 2021. It will over time also deliver additional tools to support a more productive Navy workforce.

While those commercially operated environments provided a crucial means of communication during pandemic-constricted work situations, the retirement of the previous tool clears the way for an improved, Navy-operated Flank Speed cloud. Flank Speed will be an evolving information technology initiative and the epicentre of Navy unclassified systems for years to come.

The first group to get access to Flank Speed will be the 266,000 personnel who are either active Commercial Virtual Remote (CVR) users or part of the subset of Navy Marine Corps Internet (NMCI) users who have already been transitioned to O365 (NMCI O365). Approximately 472,000 users are targeted to get access to Flank Speed. The first selected users will receive the keys to this higher-octane, more secure cloud powered by M365. A secure cloud environment built on the advanced security principles of zero trust

To initiate this evolution, more than 260,000 current users of CVR and NMCI O365 will receive a series of detailed emails with instructions explaining how to prepare for and gain access to Flank Speed. Along with a specific date of transition, the emails provide personnel time to familiarise themselves with required actions well ahead of their given enablement date.

From Day One, Flank Speed users will have access to Teams, one terabyte (1TB) of OneDrive storage, and access to the full productivity suite from M365 to include Excel, Word, OneNote, and PowerPoint. Users will also retain access to old CVR accounts until it shuts down on June 15, and NMCI O365 until it reaches its end of life later this fiscal year. As network performance supports, every Navy employee will have access to the Flank Speed cloud.

As reported by OpenGov Asia, U.S. Navy has been utilising technologies to improve its performance and efficiency such as using a mobile app consisting of Rate Training Manuals (RTMs) for 12 ratings and a variety of general Navy manuals.

The app is the new RTM home for various specialists ranging from culinary specialist to religious programmes specialist. This app enables them to study on the go without a CAC card or an internet connection. CSS staff and fleet SMEs began creating this app in September 2019 and conducted testing for more than five months. They aim to achieve maximum functionality, review the app’s content and examine the user interface.

The app features include a resources link in every RTM to their respective rating Navy COOL site, contact information for feedback and emergency support. Another feature is the ability to receive credit for the completed course directly into their Electronic Training Jacket by entering their DODID number rather than completing the course via Navy eLearning. It also serves as the host for up-to-date versions of the RTMs and NRTCs.  By moving to a digital format, the app allows CSS to work with type commanders and fleet subject matter experts (SME) to change content as needed and deliver updates to the fleet faster.

The CSS commanding officer said they are continuing positive movement and growth in the 21st century for how their Sailors will be preparing for their advancement exams. Early estimates foresee that 32,000 sailors will be affected by this new app. This shows that the scope is wide and something this major will have a direct and immediate impact on sailors throughout the fleet. As a result, they will be well-crafted in their respective fields.

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