Editor in Chief
Robert K. Ackerman has been the editor in chief of SIGNAL Magazine for more than a dozen years. A seasoned technology journalist, Ackerman also has served as a war correspondent covering the Iraq War embedded with the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division.
A journalist by training, Ackerman also minored in political science in university. His journalism career dates back more than three decades, beginning with stints as a radio reporter covering the Republican and Democratic parties’ political conventions during the 1976 elections. Following those conventions, he served as a media advisor or a press secretary for candidates in state and presidential campaigns.
Most of his journalism work over the years has been in print journalism. His writings have covered a range of issues involving technology, politics and international security.
Prior to becoming SIGNAL’s editor in chief, Ackerman served as the magazine’s senior editor. He has been with SIGNAL Magazine for more than two decades, during which he has written hundreds of feature articles and authored more than 300 columns and commentaries. His areas of coverage have spanned topics such as military information systems, foreign affairs, intelligence, laboratory research and development, space technologies, international security, terrorism and information operations. He has won or shared in journalism awards from the Aviation Writers Association; APEX; the American Copy Editors Society; PRSA; the Society for Technical Communication; and the American Society of Association Executives.
My Recent Content:The U.S. Navy Enters a New Era of Limits
The U.S. Navy faces some hard decisions as it girds for a changing global security environment that features new and diverse threats and a greater demand for its presence in the Asia-Pacific region. The choices offered the Navy include developing a new way of obtaining needed technologies and capabilities; changing the way it establishes priorities in acquisition; applying social media to networking practices; and even turning back the clock to the era before modern network-centric warfare.
Partnering with industry is not a new concept for the military. However, with funding limits plunging, the commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet has extended an invitation to industry to come up with ways of giving the Navy what it needs in economic ways.
For years, the U.S. Navy built its force around the concept of network-centric operations. Now that it has some of the most advanced information technology capabilities in the military realm, the U.S. Pacific Fleet must re-learn how to operate without them in a disconnected, intermittent, low-bandwidth (DIL) environment.
With the new Joint Information Environment looming as the basis for networking across the force, planners must consider how to add coalition allies and nontraditional partners. Establishing communities of interest may be the answer.
The move to the cloud offers great potential for U.S. Navy information technology efforts. Yet, other aspects such as applications and integrated capability sets must work their way into the sea service cyber realm.