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Federal Employees Still Suffer Low Morale, Survey Shows

November 7, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

Federal employees continue to express overall discontent with their jobs, agencies and senior leadership, and the dissatisfaction leads to a staggering amount of lost productivity, experts say.

U.S. Army Ponders 3-D Printed Food For Troops

November 6, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

The U.S. Army has not begun using a 3-D printer for food—yet. But scientists at the Natick Research Center have the idea and the funding to research the potential capabilities of 3-D food printers.

President's Commentary: Enough Procrastination Over Cybersecurity

December 1, 2014
By Lt. Gen. Robert M. Shea, USMC (Ret.)

Government officials, academia, business leaders, policy wonks and security experts have been mulling over how to implement an effective cybersecurity strategy for years. Being a domain that is incredibly dynamic and loosely defined and operating in a constantly shifting environment does not mean that the quest for a solution must be interminable. The adoption of thoughtful, well-crafted cybersecurity policy must quickly move from theory to practice—now. And this move must be holistic.

PEO Spotlight: Supporting the Antisubmarine Warfighting Resurgence

December 1, 2014
By George I. Seffers

World events have caused the U.S. Navy to once again focus on antisubmarine warfare, in part, by building the P-8A Poseidon multimission maritime aircraft to replace the aging P-3 Orion. When it comes to getting the P-8A to the warfighter and keeping the older P-3 in the air, the buck stops with Rear Adm. CJ Jaynes, USN, program executive officer, air anti-submarine warfare, assault and special mission programs (PEO(A)).

Incoming: The Way of the Fox

December 1, 2014
By Lt. Gen. Daniel P. Bolger, USA (Ret.)

For more than half the history of our country, one of the surest ways to be elected president was to gain public fame as a general in the U.S. Army. Since the tumultuous 19th century, we have fallen out of the habit of electing generals. But the one exception to the rule turned out to be Dwight D. Eisenhower, former five-star general, former commander of Allied forces in Europe in World War II, first supreme commander of NATO and a two-term president who defined an era.

Roles Evolve in European Defense

December 1, 2014
By Mandy Rizzo

Multiple transnational organizations are moving to ensure security in an increasingly dynamic environment in Europe. The conventional military threat to peace and security has been supplanted by the cyberthreat, and multinational actions will be required to incorporate its security measures.

Many of these points were discussed amid high-technology presentations featuring insights from the European Defence Agency (EDA) at TechNet Europe Paris 2014. AFCEA Europe’s second largest flagship event, TechNet Europe took place in Paris on October 9-10 at the Hotel du Collectionneur. As always, the major events of AFCEA Europe are held in a European capital city, are taken under the patronage of the Ministry of Defense and feature the latest topics in command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR).

TechNet Europe always is held in cooperation with an EU body, and this year’s partner was the EDA. Claude-France Arnould, chief executive of the EDA, gave the opening keynote speech. Given the current political climate, Arnould touched on important points such as the agency’s role in the context of the common European security and defense policy and options for cooperation with NATO bodies regarding technical solutions of common interest. Her speech was followed by the keynote of Lt. Gen. Wolfgang Wosolsobe, AUS, the director general of the EU Military Staff. He elaborated on the role of EU military perspectives in the framework of defense and security.

Fragmented Government Efforts Stymie Cybersecurity Progress

December 1, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

The private and financial sectors are pressing for better governmental answers to the costly cybersecurity challenges still plaguing the nation. They want the White House to create, as a minimum first step, an interagency or oversight group to facilitate information sharing. This small step is seen as a critical link between industry and government to organizing the fragmented cybersecurity efforts needed to quash mounting attacks.

While federal efforts abound, they are coordinated haphazardly, with gaps and no overarching governance—in spite of a preponderance of existing documents, plans, regulations and actions, according to experts.

A year has passed since the breach of Target Corporation’s information security in which hackers stole 40 million credit and debit card numbers, and yet no national coordinated clearinghouse exists for the formal sharing of information and lessons learned that might mitigate future attacks. A spate of high-profile data breaches has hit big retailers and financial institutions, but cybersecurity in the United States remains a lax patchwork of ill-defined rules and dubious regulations.

But this is not for a lack of trying, some experts say. For years, officials as high as the president of the United States designated cybersecurity as one of the most serious economic and national security challenges—even though, of the 21 top issues listed on the whitehouse.gov home page in October, cybersecurity ironically is not among them.

Protecting Soldier Networks From Threats, Inside or Outside

December 1, 2014
By Rita Boland

Cyber is becoming more critical in battle every day, and the U.S. Army is adjusting its Network Integration Evaluation to reflect that reality. The service branch is introducing new digital features to the training event from the laboratory to the field.

During the most recent evaluation, which occurred in October and November, several cyber features made their debut. For the first time, the Army Research Laboratory Survivability/Lethality Analysis Directorate (ARL/SLAD) became part of the lab-based risk-reduction efforts in the lead up to the hands-on portion of the event. That work is helping to find earlier vulnerabilities that previously would have been discovered during the field portion of the Network Integration Evaluation (NIE) so experts can resolve any issues before giving the technologies to soldiers. “Is it going to find everything? No, no lab test is ever going to find everything, but I think it is allowing us to move the ball down the road from the perspective of being more proactive to find these issues,” says Jennifer Zbozny, chief engineer for the Program Executive Office for Command, Control and Communications-Tactical (PEO C3T).

The lab-based risk reduction that took place before NIE 15.1 is one of the biggest pushes to do more cybersecurity work in the evaluations. By moving assessments into the laboratory, soldiers save time on the ground. It also helps ensure that updates are loaded before the fieldwork and that mitigation measures are in place when necessary.

Securing Communications By Skipping the Server

December 1, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

With the information world marching en masse to the cloud, one global firm is offering direct peer-to-peer encryption to reduce the threat of an intervening cyber intercept. This approach is applicable to dedicated hardware as well as to commercial off-the-shelf consumer communications equipment, and its operation is relatively transparent to the user.

Manned and Unmanned Systems Team Up for Warfighters

December 1, 2014
By George I. Seffers

U.S. Navy officials have, for the first time, proved that the unmanned X-47B aircraft and an F/A-18 Hornet can operate at the same time within the same aircraft carrier-controlled landing pattern. Manned and unmanned aircraft flying from the same flight deck may change the way warfighters operate in the decades to come.

 

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