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Foster to leave as Department of Navy CIO

In the span of three months, three of the military services will have a new chief information officer.

The latest one to head out the door is Rob Foster, the Department of the Navy CIO. A Navy spokeswoman confirmed that Foster’s last day is Aug. 19.

He will be joining the National Credit Union Administration as its deputy CIO, where he will be responsible for delivery of IT services.

Foster became the DoN CIO in June 2015 after being the deputy CIO at the Department of Health and Human Services.

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Over the last two-plus years, Foster centered his efforts on several priorities, including modernizing the Navy and Marine Corps’ infrastructure. He signed a memo in May 2016 letting both services approve their own business cases to move to the cloud and stand up managed services to help commands and application owners transition from on-premises data centers to commercial cloud providers.

Foster also focused on ensuring the DoN had enough well-qualified cyber workers. He signed off on a memo to expand the certifications, training and degrees accepted increases the number of qualified cyber workers.

And in July, Foster announced the creation of the Data and Analytics Consortium (DAC) initiative. Foster said the DAC would design the service management construct to let data consumers and decisions makers access high quality and high speed analytics services. It also will collaborate with industry and academia on research and development for data science, and learn and apply the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) to support the DoN’s ability to better share, integrate, and aggregate data.

NCUA will be Foster’s fourth agency since he retired from active duty in the Navy in 2007.

It’s unclear who will be acting CIO when Foster leaves. Kelly Fletcher is the principal deputy CIO.

Along with the Department of the Navy, the departments of the Air Force and Army also brought in new CIOs this summer.

Maj. Gen. Bruce Crawford took over for Lt. Gen. Robert Ferrell on Aug. 1.

Crawford, who has been serving in the Army for 31 years, comes to the CIO/G6 after serving the commander of the Army Communications-Electronics Command and Aberdeen Proving Ground Senior Mission Commander.

Prior to that, he served as the J6, director of C4/cyber and CIO of the European Command.

Ferrell retired from the Army earlier this summer after 34 years of service. He spent the last three-plus years as the CIO.

Crawford picks up several priorities from Ferrell, including moving the service to a private cloud, consolidating data centers and the continuation of moving networks and services under the Joint Information Environment (JIE) and Joint Regional Security Stacks (JRSS).

A June 2017 AFCEA Army IT day presentation by Army deputy CIO Gary Wang highlighted six lines of efforts, including delivering IT services to the edge and increasing network throughput ensuring sufficient computing infrastructure.

Finally, Lt. Gen. Bradford Shwedo took over as the Air Force’s CIO and chief of Information Dominance in June.

Shwedo comes to the CIO’s role after serving as the commander of the 25th Air Force at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas for two years and before that spent two years as the director of capability and resource integration (J8) for the U.S. Cyber Command in Fort Meade, Maryland.

Shwedo replaces Lt. Gen. Bill Bender, who retired earlier this summer after 34 years of service.

Shwedo also picks up several familiar priorities, including JIE, JRSS and enterprise services. Bender also worked on improving the Air Force’s IT acquisition process and address the need for better skilled cyber and IT workers.