While all of the services continue to transform the ways they operate, one of the armed forces' primary institutions for advanced education is leading the way to joint transformation. In recently renovated, technologically advanced classrooms, students delve into the challenges the military faces today to discover innovative joint approaches to tomorrow's problems.
The U.S. Defense Department has developed a software standard that permits organizations to write and share online courses and learning material. Representing the combined efforts of government, industry and academia, the guidelines are part of a larger program that seeks to provide federal personnel with high-quality training delivered any time, anywhere.
Future virtual training environments may provide soldiers with computer-generated opponents who realistically portray anger, fear and fatigue. Researchers are adding human behavioral and cultural data to software to accurately depict crowd and adversary reactions. By introducing these layers of authenticity, scientists hope to enrich the quality of the learning experience that simulation systems offer.
SIGNAL's July issue featured a commentary by Michael J. Varner, president of the Rocky Mountain Chapter, about the value of the chapter organization. Next, AFCEA's regional organization merits examination. Ever since AFCEA assumed its current structure more than 20 years ago-still as a national organization-its regional vice presidents, or RVPs, were the coordinators between a group of chapters in a certain region and the staff of the association. RVPs, as the extended arms of the AFCEA chairman of the board and the president, always have performed functions in support of AFCEA headquarters, in support of the chapters and have been instrumental in facilitating exchanges of experiences with colleagues in other regions. They are appointed by the chairman of the board, subject to confirmation by the Executive Committee.
Recognizing the power that unmanned aerial vehicles bring to the battlespace, military personnel are calling for more-so much so that the demand is nearly outpacing the supply. The U.S. military is very pleased with the performance of the aircraft in the war on terrorism and continues to investigate new enhancements to current systems. The U.S. Defense Department is working to determine how the vehicles can be integrated into the total force structure most effectively.
The major consolidation of federal agencies that is creating the new Department of Homeland Security also is impelling private industry to adapt to the changing landscape. The resulting environment places more responsibility on businesses to protect vital infrastructure, but it also clears the way to a closer and more productive relationship between the commercial and public sectors.
More than 16 months after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, U.S. government spending on homeland security has yet to settle into a predictable routine. Tens of billions of dollars have been allocated to domestic and foreign operations aimed at deterring, preventing or recovering from terrorist activities. Some of these appropriations have funded startup programs that promise long-term benefits, while others support long-extant efforts that are the only options available for immediate action in the war on terrorism.
Corporate America is helping assemble the homeland defense jigsaw puzzle that includes thousands of pieces being put together by hundreds of people looking at a multitude of different pictures. Industry leaders agree that the biggest challenge is the complexity of the problem and the plethora of solutions being proposed by companies with a range of specialties taking widely varying approaches.
Military doctrines about fighting in cities and towns are evolving, and the U.S. Army is turning to high technology systems to teach and evaluate how warfighters will adapt to the new objectives in an emerging battlespace. The service is examining tactics, techniques and procedures and developing concepts that support maneuvers that can transition from offense and defense to stabilization and support.
Having established new procedures and incorporated new technologies for surface and air situational awareness, the U.S. Navy now is looking to extend that capability underwater. The sea service is working with the private sector to apply new data fusion techniques to antisubmarine warfare.