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DARPA Program Aims to Help Counselors Spot Signs of Stress, PTSD

July 1, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

DARPA is funding a new program to help combat depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and military suicides. It has tools to analyze facial expressions, body gestures and speech, both content and delivery, and inform experts on a user’s psychological state of mind or alert them to behavioral changes that could indicate problems.

Government, Industry Network at TechNet International 2014

July 1, 2014
By Mandy Rizzo

Cyber, defense technology, coalition interoperability, NATO contracting opportunities and Ukraine were among the topics discussed at the NATO Industry Conference and TechNet International 2014, held in Bucharest, Romania. For the third time, the NATO Communications and Information Agency and AFCEA Europe organized a joint conference and exposition. The two organizations generated a program with an agenda of truly intertwined sessions relevant to all.

Romania was the host nation of this event, and the NATO Communications and Information (NCI) Agency and AFCEA Europe benefited from direct support from the Romania Ministry of Defense. This year also marked the 10th anniversary of Romania’s accession to NATO. The level of the conference and access to special venues, as well as the presence of high-ranking officials, could not have been attained without the ministry’s generous support.

A major element of this event was its networking opportunities. More than 30 representatives from the NCI Agency explained contracting opportunities with NATO during breakout sessions and basic ordering agreement (BOA) processes in the dedicated BOA’s meeting room as well as during the entire conference. The exposition featured 34 exhibitors participating in the conference, focusing on the theme “From Assets to Services—Capability Delivery in the 21st Century.” Having officials speaking directly with industry representatives on a one-on-one basis and answering real-life situational questions that address their particular questions and challenges turned out to be key to the event.

Necessity Drives Joint Information Environment

July 1, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

The shrinking military cannot achieve mission success without the advances promised by the Joint Information Environment, U.S. Defense Department leaders say. Yet the effort itself depends on innovative advances that may lead to changes in doctrine and operations if—and when—they are incorporated into the force.

No clear technology or architecture has emerged to define the JIE. While the military has a goal in mind, it also recognizes that information technologies and capabilities are evolving faster than planners can predict. The commercial sector, which could serve as a fount of ideas for defense networking, itself is structuring its strategies to accommodate unforeseen changes. Different parts of the defense and intelligence communities have their own nonnegotiable requirements for JIE participation.

Different organizations and disciplines strive to break down silos and give the Defense Department its JIE. Leading defense communicators agree that the force cannot prevail in future operations without a single information environment, but they must ensure that it does not ignore the specific needs of some individual elements within the defense community.

Many of these issues were discussed at AFCEA’s three-day JIE Mission Partner Symposium held May 12-14 in Baltimore. Overflow crowds heard speakers and panelists from government, the military and industry discuss the need for the JIE and the challenges that stand in the way of its implementation.

U.S. military forces will not be able to pursue operational goals successfully unless the JIE is implemented, according to a member of the Joint Staff. Lt. Gen. Mark S. Bowman, J-6, The Joint Staff, was unambiguous in his assessment of the JIE’s importance.

Different Circumstances, Different Approaches Define Cybersecurity Thrust

June 25, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

No single solution, no single course of action, no single training regimen exists for combating cybermarauders on the Internet. Cyber officials are striving to establish guidelines for cybersecurity, yet they acknowledge that every organization in every nation has varying needs and must pursue different tracks to achieve what they determine is effective cybersecurity.

For Cybersecurity, the Motto is Partner or Perish

June 24, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

Government and the private sector must determine ways of cooperating in the fight to defeat cyberthreats, or else both will face potentially catastrophic consequences.

Experts Sound Off For Congressional Committee on Defense Acquisition Reform

June 24, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

Significant changes to the federal acquisition process can come when better attention is paid to the people who make up the work force—or so was the dominate theme expressed by a panel of defense acquisition experts who testified before the House Armed Services Committee.

DARPA-Funded Research Offers Faster, Better Views of Entire Brain

June 23, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

A new research protocol developed at Stanford University and sponsored by DARPA improves on a previous technological breakthrough, reducing the imaging process that lets neuroscientists visualize a brain across multiple scales from 80 years to 220 days.

Extending Cybersecurity in Romania

June 23, 2014
By Rita Boland

Companies Deep-Secure and Sweetwater s.r.l. signed a contract earlier this month that will extend cybersecurity measures in the Romanian market. The move should help address common cybercrime issues prevalent in former Eastern Bloc nations.

Number of STEM College Degrees and Jobs on the Rise

June 19, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

Both the number of degrees awarded, and the number of jobs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields, have increased over the past decade, according to a report from the Government Accountability Office, which studied STEM educational programs because of researchers' disagreement about whether there are enough STEM workers to meet employer demand.

U.S. Navy’s Superior Supplier Incentive Program Being Extended to All Services For Acquisition

June 17, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

The Defense Department unveiled a first-of-its-kind program that acquisition leaders say will promote better competition, help control program costs and achieve affordable programs; and could lead to an overhaul of the government's Better Buying Power acquisition process.

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