Navy Exchange Service Command’s Telecommunication Program Reaches Across the Fleet

By Mary Morse, Vice President, Navy Exchange Command’s Telecommunications Program Office

As the Navy’s designated executive agent for all unofficial/personal telecommunications worldwide, Navy Exchange Service Command’s (NEXCOM) Telecommunications Program Office (TPO) is tasked to ensure military members and their families can keep in touch with loved ones no matter where they are around the world. Its mission is to offer competitively priced services to enhance the quality of life for military members and their families using state-of-the-art telecommunication services.

Navy Exchange Mobile Center at NEX Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

 

One way it fulfills this mission is by providing safe, reliable and affordable internet networks, both on and off base. Through contracts with local telecommunications providers, Sailors and their families enjoy Wi-Fi in barracks, Navy Lodges and other lodging facilities, morale, welfare and recreation (MWR) and hospitals. Phone calls home are also possible from aboard Navy ships, from a bank of pay phones at Recruit Training Center in Great Lakes, Illinois, and even Navy Brigs.

Whether through collaboration with the Naval Information Warfare Systems Command on ship designs or through Defense Information Systems Agency to secure bandwidth, or keeping up with the ever-evolving changes in the cell phone industry, NEXCOM’s TPO ensures their services do not interfere with mission-essential military networks.

Navy Exchange San Diego offers its customers a variety of phones, plans, and accessories at the NEX Mobile Center

The department’s outreach is worldwide, encompassing military locations such as Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti; Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bahrain; Naval Support Facility Deveselu, Romania; NSA Souda Bay, Crete; and Naval Support Facility Redzikowo, Poland. At these unique bases, NEXCOM TPO works with the local installation to use its fiber infrastructure or upgrade what is already there prior to installing equipment. The amount of bandwidth each base offers varies. Sailors can purchase the internet service plan they need to fit their needs.

“Quality of life in these remote locations is very important,” said Michelle Davis, program manager at NEXCOM’s TPO. “In Djibouti, Sailors can’t leave the base, so it is essential that they have reliable internet service to call home, stream a movie or read social media. In Bahrain, if we know a ship coming into port, we can surge the bandwidth so Sailors coming ashore can video-call their loved ones back home.”

The final service the department oversees is cellular service, devices and accessories that are offered by local telecom providers in most Navy Exchange (NEX) locations worldwide.

Guests are able to use the free Wi-Fi in the lobby of Navy Lodge Norfolk, to connect with loved ones back home.

 

Keeping families connected with loved ones is at the heart of what NEXCOM’s TPO does each and every day. They work tirelessly to ensure there is no lapse in service as a service member’s mission and duty station changes.

–photos by NEXCOM Public Affairs

Summer 2019