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Air Force Awards Contract to Northrop Grumman for VAATE Program

March 9, 2009
By Katie Packard

The U.S. Air Force is awarding an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract to Northrop Grumman for a maximum of $30 million. This contract will fund the Versatile Affordable Advanced Turbine Engines (VAATE) Program, a joint U.S. Defense Department/NASA/U.S. Department of Energy/industry effort.

QinetiQ North America Wins Air Force Space Operations Contract

March 9, 2009
By Katie Packard

QinetiQ North America's Mission Solutions Group has been awarded a blanket purchase agreement worth up to $250 million from the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile System Center for space operations technical support. QinetiQ North America will be eligible to provide the Air Force with systems engineering, test and evaluation, software engineering, spectrum management, modeling and simulation, system safety and acquisition security. The company also will offer support in the areas of integration logistic support and concept development and other areas.

U.K. Government Awards Funding Contract to Eurocopter

March 9, 2009
By Katie Packard

Eurocopter has received a £5 million capital grant from the United Kingdom government for the purchase of six new police Eurocopter EC135 helicopters for air support, part of the first joint procurement by six U.K. police forces. The grant also will provide enhanced state-of-the-art mission equipment. Each helicopter will feature the latest Airborne Law Enforcement and Police Reconnaissance and Surveillance systems as well as interoperable communications means, including daylight and thermal imaging cameras, Nightsun search lights, video down-link system and Tetra radios, which will allow easy communication both with police on the ground and with the other emergency services.

Air Force Awards Fidelity Technologies $5.3 Million Contract for New Simulation and Training System

March 9, 2009
By Katie Packard

Fidelity Technologies Corporation has received a $5.3 million contract from the U.S Air Force to create a simulation and training system that can be used for a full range of training exercises. Fidelity will manufacture and deliver the Joint Terminal Control Training and Rehearsal System, which will provide real-life battlefield scenarios for warfighters in four areas: terminal attack control, close air support, air traffic control and call for fire coordination, training, and mission rehearsal.

Lockheed Martin Awarded $39 Million Task Order to Enhance Internal Revenue Service's Taxpayer Self-Service Systems

March 6, 2009
By Katie Packard

Lockheed Martin Corporation has been awarded a three-year, $39 million Integrated Customer Communications Environment task order from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to maintain, operate and enhance interactive voice processing systems and Internet-based applications to support the IRS customer service domain. Under the TIPPS-3 task order, Lockheed Martin will maintain IRS systems that provide self-service applications to citizens via integrated telephony and the Internet.

SAIC Awarded $900 Million Contract by U.S. Strategic Command

March 6, 2009
By Katie Packard

Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) has been awarded a contract by the U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) to provide technical assistance and selected support services. This multiple-award, indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract has a ceiling value of $900 million for all awardees.

Under the contract, SAIC will provide technical analysis and studies for programs and strategies as required for USSTRATCOM, whose missions include space operations; cyberspace operations; strategic deterrence; combating weapons of mass destruction; global command and control; global strike and integration; information operations; integrated missile defense; and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

CENTCOM Leader Outlines Problems and Solutions

March 5, 2009
By Henry Kenyon

TechNet Tampa 2009 wrapped up with a keynote address by Maj. Gen. Jay W. Hood, USA, chief of staff, U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM). The general impressed upon the audience the importance of communications to all CENTCOM's efforts which involve work in almost all the countries in the command's area of operation, not only Iraq and Afghanistan. Communications are so necessary that to the command staff, a broken video teleconference connection is more of a problem than a broken rifle. Even the boots on the ground who use a rifle every day depend on reliable communications.

The general stated that one of his command's needs is to increase the ability of ground troops to communicate on the move and over the horizon. Small units especially need these capabilities. One way operators are handling the issue is through Netted Iridium. "The Iridium network is now being leveraged [for] push-to-talk radios," Gen. Hood said. Another major problem in the CENTCOM area is the lack of communications infrastructure. This hinders current communications, negatively affects CENTCOM's ability to develop host nation security forces that are interoperable with the United States and others, and decreases information sharing capabilities. Gen. Hood explained that the infrastructure leading to theater is better than what is in theater, but those pathways need to be improved as well. Progress is being made in places like Afghanistan, where investment in infrastructure has led to an increase from a few hundred cellular telephones in that country a few years ago to more than 8 million being used today.

DISA Director Has Two Hats and a No-Fail Mission

March 5, 2009
By Henry Kenyon

Lt. Gen. Carroll F. Pollett, USA, the director of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) made sure at the beginning of his keynote address that listeners understood he holds a dual leadership role in his current position. In addition to leading DISA, he also is the commander of the Joint Task Force-Global Network Operations (JTF-GNO). Gen. Pollett went on to explain that the two organizations he commands are linked, with DISA delivering enterprise capabilities and the JTF-GNO operating and defending the enterprise.

DISA and the JTF-GNO are working to operationalize  the cyberspace domain and empower warfighters to achieve information dominance. He explained that technology should not be looked at as a solution for leadership but as a way to enable the human element. The general also stated "I have a no-fail mission. I have no flexibility." To succeed in his endeavors, he is looking for a change from an application mentality to a service mentality, and he has no interest in proprietary systems.

One of the general's top priorities is command and control (C2). To enable C2 through information sharing he says programs such as Net-Enabled Command Capability and Net-Centric Enterprise Services are critical. The director is focused on becoming familiar with the requirements of all the programs at DISA, dedicating five hours a week to talking with his GS-15s and military colonels about their requirements and the operational aspects of their programs. Gen. Pollett's goal is to address senior leadership with requirement adjustments when there are problems or to find ways to deliver capabilities to warfighters when something works well.

Commission Assesses Cyberspace and Recommends Security Measures

March 5, 2009
By Henry Kenyon

This morning at TechNet Tampa 2009, Lt. Gen. Harry D. Raduege, Jr., USAF (Ret.), a member of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Commission on Cybersecurity for the 44th Presidency, presented findings and recommendations from the commission's report Securing Cyberspace for the 44th Presidency, released last December.  The report had three major findings: cybersecurity is now a major national security problem for the United States; decisions and actions must respect privacy and personal liberties; and only a comprehensive national security strategy that embraces domestic and international aspects of cyberspace will improve the situation.

The commission made 25 recommendations for improving cyberspace operations, several of which Gen. Raduege discussed in his presentation. These include creating a Comprehensive National Security Strategy for Cyberspace; partnering with the private sector; regulating cybersecurity; using acquisition rules to improve security; revising the Federal Information Security Management Act; conducting training for cybereducation and workforce development; and conducting research and development.

Changes are necessary to improve the state of cyberspace today. Gen. Raduege said estimates put the loss of intellectual property in cyberspace each year at $1 trillion. Other problems incude the breach of 45,000 Federal Aviation Administration employees' information last month. In addition, cyberattacks against the United States and other countries continue to increase, resulting in sensitive information being stolen and comprised.

The commission's complete report can be downloaded at http://www.csis.org/component/option,com_csis_pubs/task,view/id,5157/.

Intelligence Community Flattens Networks

March 5, 2009
By Henry Kenyon

Leadership from the intelligence and special operations communities discussed flattening networks to better conduct operations today during an unclassified intelligence panel this morning. Moderator Konrad Trautman, director of intelligence (J2), U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM), opened the discussion by emphasizing the importance of collaboration and reachback capabilities not only within the military intelligence community, but with partner organizations as well.

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