Holloman Air Force Base to Build Reaper Hangar

June 21, 2013
George I. Seffers
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HEW-Phelps, Austin, Texas, was awarded a firm-fixed-price contract with a maximum value of $20,620,000 for the construction of an MQ-9 Maintenance Hangar on Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. The Army Corps of Engineers, Albuquerque, N.M., is the contracting activity. 

Robots Rumble

June 20, 2013

Civilian and military bomb squad teams from across the country are participating in the 7th Annual Western National Robot Rodeo and Capability Exercise this week. Hosted by Sandia National Laboratories, the event pits these experts against each other to determine who can most effectively defuse dangerous situations with the help of robots.

The rodeo and exercise comprises 10 events that enable the teams to practice using robots and new technology in a low-risk but competitive environment. In previous events, one scenario included identifying, locating and disposing of suspected hazardous material stored in a residential garage and moving simulated fuel rods from a nuclear reactor damaged by a tornado.

This year’s competitors include local and state law enforcement departments from a number of U.S. cities as well as the Kirtland Air Force Base Explosive Ordnance Disposal team.

Hawkins: Mobility As a Disruptive Technology

By Max Cacas
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Lt. Gen. Ronnie Hawkins, USAF, Director of the Defense Information Systems Agency, always sees mobile through the eyes of a warfighter. “Mobility means a lot of things to a lot of different people,” he told the inaugural edition of the “AFCEA Answers” radio program (listen here). “When we look at it from the perspectives of what we do in the Joint Information Environment, we see it as one of the disruptive technologies that we’re bringing to bear.”
Gen. Hawkins says mobile gives the military the ability to, “move information where ever we need to move it, and also be able to do it from a platform that does not tie us to a desk.” And it puts that information, he adds, anywhere the warfighter might need it.
One of the top challenges for delivering that information to the warfighter in theater is keeping data secure, according to Kevin Manwiller with CISCO Systems. “Security is top of mind anytime you are bringing mobile devices onto the network,” he says, adding that industry needs to develop commercial off-the-shelf solutions to do that.  
CISCO’s Mike Mulville adds, “The always-there, anywhere, always on, no matter where you go, whether its secure or unsecure, those are the kinds of challenges that we in industry are trying to meet.”
What does mobile mean to you? Do you agree it’s a disruptive technology, or is it a productivity enabler?
Got a question? Got an answer? AFCEA Answers wants to hear from you – join in the conversation!

Cool App-titude: Book Crawler

June 18, 2013
By Rachel Eisenhower

Whether you’re a collector, a teacher, a student or even just an avid reader, the Book Crawler app for iPhone helps you make the most of your personal library collection.

Book Crawler is a book database that allows you to quickly and accurately upload your book collection in one place using the ISBN barcode scanner or a manual search. Whenever you enter a new book, the app provides the title, author, publisher, cover art, summaries, reviews and local library location/availability.

Share and discuss books with friends, locate the latest release from your favorite author, or sort and search through your current collection. You can add more than 10,000 book entries.

In addition, the app lets you purchase books through iBooks.

Purchase the app for $1.99 from the iTunes App Store.

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Communications Migration on the Move

June 17, 2013

The initial steps have been taken to transition soldiers from Army Knowledge Online to next-generation enterprise services. Secretary of the Army John McHugh authorized the move, which will support enterprise systems for collaboration, content management and unified online capabilities. Army military retirees and family members will continue to have access to Defense Department online self-service sites such as Tricare and MyPay through DOD Self-Service Logon.

This latest phase of the modernization follows the Army’s migration of 1.4 million email accounts to Department of Defense Enterprise Email, an initial step in moving toward modernizing the service’s communications infrastructure during the next several years to make it interoperable across the U.S. Defense Department and compatible with emerging Joint Information Environment architectures, including cloud-based services. A transition timeline for AKO services and accounts is being developed and will include military and civilian retirees and Army family members. Details will be published by September in an Army execution order and will include how thee Army will remain connected with military retirees and families.