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The SIGNAL Blog

Northrop Grumman Selected for Future Combat Systems Development Contract

February 13, 2009
By Katie Packard

Northrop Grumman Corporation has been selected by General Dynamics Robotic Systems to supply the navigation system solution for the Phase II Global Positioning System (GPS)/Inertial Navigation System (INS), a major component of the Autonomous Navigation System (ANS) for the U.S. Army's Future Combat Systems (FCS) program. Under this $10.7 million contract, Northrop Grumman's navigation solution will provide the navigation system inputs for the ANS.

Community Is Key to Keeping Uniformed Personnel

February 12, 2009
By Henry Kenyon

Most service personnel are motivated by a sense of duty to their country, but their services must continue to focus on quality of life-personal as well as professional. These points were driven home in a panel focusing on what it takes to keep people in uniform.

C4I Top Priority for Third Fleet

February 12, 2009
By Henry Kenyon

Many forward deployed ships in the U.S. Navy are becoming independent command and control (C2) nodes as they adapt for more complex missions, according to the commander of the Third Fleet. Vice Adm. Samuel J. Locklear III, USN, told a luncheon audience that C4I is the key enabler for the fleet.

Navy Re-Engineers to Meet Budget, Operational Challenges

February 12, 2009
By Henry Kenyon

The U.S. Navy must re-invent, re-set and re-design to meet its mission challenges in the face of anticipated defense budget cuts, said panelists presenting "straight talk from warfare commanders." This re-engineering must include new technologies to improve system efficiencies; increased training and simulation; and improved acquisition processes.

Chinese Moves Define Self Interests

February 12, 2009
By Henry Kenyon

China is moving systematically to be a world power in economics and military operations by 2050, say panelists discussing whether China is a friend or a foe. However, none of this morning's panelists from the "China: Friend or Foe" breakfast dialogue could resolve that overall issue. They noted that many of China's moves are based on supporting its long march to modernization, and it sees continued peace in East Asia as a key to achieving that goal. However, it believes it must be able to counter U.S. military power to ensure its continued progress. And, it has gone to war frequently in the past 60 years, often while at peace.

Easy Entry for Enemies in Cyberspace

February 12, 2009
By Henry Kenyon

No solution to the cyberspace threat seems imminent or even obvious, according to a panel asked "What keeps you up at night?" Cyberspace enemies can attack anywhere, and they don't need to expend any extraordinary resources to be effect in the infosphere.

Winning Against IEDs

February 11, 2009
By Henry Kenyon

The only way to defeat improvised explosive devices (IEDs) is to treat them as strategic weapons, says Lt. Gen. Thomas F. Metz, USA, director, Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO). And, with that approach, networking may be the key enabler. "We are in a long war against extremists," the general stated, and he described in blunt terms the atrocities these extremists commit against innocent people, particularly women. This will be a long fight against an enemy whose weapon of choice is the IED.

Defense and the Economy

February 11, 2009
By Henry Kenyon
Wednesday morning panel:
Panelists engaging in a lively discussion on force structure are (l-r) Lt. Gen. Joe Weber, USMC (Ret.); Adm. Robert Natter, USN (Ret.); Gen. Barry McCaffrey, USA (Ret.), Lt. Gen. Daniel Leaf, USAF (Ret.); and panel moderator Col. Jack Jacobs, USA (Ret.).

The current political picture of looming defense budget cuts poses considerable threats to national security, according to all of the panelists addressing force structure balance at West 2009. They warned against losing valuable advantages against adversaries in the name of economics.

Gen. Barry R. McCaffrey, USA, former commander, U.S. Southern Command, dominated the morning discussion at with several impassioned statements that shattered common perceptions. Noting that defense spending constitutes only about 4 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product, Gen. McCaffrey declared that the United States is not spending too much on the military-it's spending too little.

Gen. McCaffrey decried suggestions that the United States could cut its nuclear deterrent drastically. He warned that "we walk away from our nuclear deterrent at our own peril," and he predicted that massive strategic cuts could trigger nuclear proliferation among 30 nations.

He also addressed generals and admirals, telling them that it is not their role to cut the budget. Instead, they should address the national security threat and leave it to Congress to fulfill its role under Article 1 of the Constitution to raise and support a military, "and they're not doing their job," he said of Congress.

More in Less Time, Says Greenert

February 11, 2009
By Henry Kenyon

Much remains to be done even though the U.S. Navy has reconstituted its fleet response plan to suit a new era in which is must do more in less time, said Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert, USN, commander of the U.S. Fleet Forces Command.

SAIC Awarded Energy Savings Performance Contract by the Department of Energy

February 11, 2009
By Katie Packard

Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) has been awarded an Energy Savings Performance Contract by the U.S. Department of Energy to design, construct and obtain financing for projects that will reduce energy and water consumption and costs and promote the use of renewable energy technologies across federal agencies.

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