The U.S. Army has actively entered the distance learning arena with two programs that allow soldiers to earn college credits or improve their military occupational skills online from their primary bases or while deployed.
A software analysis tool allows military and civilian managers of government facilities to evaluate vulnerability to terrorist attacks quickly. Now being installed at all U.S. military installations, the program calculates the risks that a variety of extremist organizations pose to a base or building, taking into account known tactics, methods of attack, preferred weapons and capabilities. This data is converted into graphics and three-dimensional models that can be stored and incorporated into reports.
Flexible coalition wide area networks, the Navy/Marine Corps Intranet, and miniaturized mobile wireless systems are key areas for successful warfighting, said military and industry leaders at the 16th annual TechNet Asia-Pacific conference in November. The three-day event, "Pacific Technology: Leading the Way in the Digital Future," covered interoperability issues and new technologies. Top U.S. Defense Department leaders came to share their visions and describe their technical requirements for the future.
Good organizations do not exist in a vacuum, and AFCEA International is no exception. This association, like other dynamic organizations, is a work in progress. AFCEA's leadership constantly strives to improve its service to its members, and part of that mission is to ensure that its members and guests fully benefit from their affiliation.
U.S. government and business organizations are re-evaluating their communications network design and resiliency following the September 11 terrorist attacks. Planners are now emphasizing dispersed, redundant, military-style systems that can rapidly retrieve and update lost data or switch to alternate transmission modes to maintain connectivity.
Despite a shaky economy, businesses are contributing to homeland security and the war against terrorism by backing their workers who are guardsmen or reservists. Although it is still too early to determine how an extensive call-up may affect human resources, many firms are researching their legal requirements in terms of pay, benefits and re-employment. Several are then going beyond the mandatory to the extraordinary to ensure that their employees can serve their country without worrying about their families or civilian jobs.
The British government is employing streamlined procurement procedures that change the way military projects are bid, selected and deployed. Moving away from traditional single-platform and service-based methods, the process utilizes a flexible approach that meets changing national defense requirements.
While analysts now are keeping a sharper eye on possible weapons proliferation, some of the technologies they employ may play an increasingly important role in maintaining homeland security. In the wake of the September 11 attacks on the United States, experts charged with detecting overseas programs to develop weapons of mass destruction are refocusing their efforts on a new list of nations that pose more immediate threats.
The tragic events of September 11 provide ghastly substance to the metaphor of asymmetric warfare. And, they add credence to prescient but nebulous warnings of threats to homeland security and concomitant vulnerabilities of critical infrastructures.