The Danish military is implementing a versatile software platform for its naval and land command and control systems that has proved to be an affordable means to support data fusion over legacy communications links. Featuring an open architecture, the platform provides generic command, control and communications functions and flexibility in subsystem integration. It is being installed on the country's new ships as well as being retrofitted onto existing vessels.
The U.S. Air Force has made tremendous strides in leveraging advances in information technology to improve its combat effectiveness. Today, precision targeting is the norm. Access to critical intelligence, mission status and resource availability information from around the globe is taken for granted. Airmen are using Internet "chat" to order parts and coordinate missions. Sophisticated information technologies embedded in air and space vehicles provide unprecedented and persistent situational awareness over areas of interest. On a recent visit to some of the U.S. bases in the Middle East, I was struck by the myriad of uses of information technology that have changed the face of modern warfare. The future holds the promise of more amazing benefits.
When talk turns to providing a comprehensive picture of the battlefield, people often overlook the fact that the defense community is not providing a good enough picture down to the battalion level, much less to the company level. These warfighting levels especially need an accurate and actionable picture of where enemy forces are located. But, even as we head into the promised land of network-centric operations, the muddy-boots warfighters are not receiving the information they desperately need to prevail on the battlefield.
TechNet International 2000, which was held June 20 through June 22 at the Washington, D.C. Convention Center, represented an event in transition. For this year's event, AFCEA International's 54th annual convention and exposition, we chose to return to our Defense Department core specialties. At the same time, we introduced a number of exciting new features that produced favorable results and bode well for the future.
The spread of information and networking technology into virtually all corners of the globe is spawning new opportunities for criminals and terrorists to wreak havoc through the Internet. The dichotomy of system complexity and ease of individual use has created a target-rich environment across the entire realm of cyberspace.
Protecting the average business computer from a barrage of malicious network intrusions is high on the priority list of many of today's World Wide Web-based organizations. In a move to step up research in network security technology, the U.S. Navy is contracting out a three-year effort to pursue security systems development.
Threats to government and private sector computer systems continue to evolve in new and unexpected ways. These challenges come from a variety of groups such as hackers, terrorists and, increasingly, radical political and social activists.
In the electronic ecosystem that is the modern-day battlespace, the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command interweaves the biological community with an abiotic environment. This unique role that the command has played during the last decade is part of the evolution of fighting forces. Its contributions to the inner workings of oftentimes dangerous environments continues as part of the revolution in the way warfighters and commanders carry out their duties. This transformation is far from over.
The battlefield is emerging as a conglomeration of information systems that talk to each other, create a total picture and deliver pieces of a complex puzzle into a comprehensive knowledge base for mission commanders. Operations can vary from conflict to peacekeeping to humanitarian aid, but the requirements are the same-acquire as much information about the situation as possible so the best decisions can be made.
En route airborne personnel soon may be able to send and receive vital information about the changing state of an operational landscape. A U.S. Army program aims to empower these forces to work with their home command to replan their mission if necessary.