Military recruitment and retention rates are steadily being met, but cracks are beginning to appear in the personnel infrastructure. A panel of senior enlisted leaders both lauded the quality and motivation of their enlisted personnel and warned against the possibility of losing large numbers of them in the near future.
The SIGNAL Blog
|Maj. Gen. Mike Hostage III, vice commander, Pacific Air Forces|
The U.S. Pacific Air Forces are rolling out new technologies and capabilities to government and industry partners while seeking to consolidate for efficiencies. But, its vice commander bemoans continuing cultural and technological hurdles to effective network centricity.
Among the new capabilities are voice over secure Internet protocol (VoSIP), which is in four bases and will be installed in all nine bases over the next 12 months. Airmen also are receiving secure mobile personal digital assistants with Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) security for sending secure e-mail. And, network operations and CERT functions are consolidated into single Air Force network operations.
But Maj. Gen. Mike Hostage III, USAF, vice commander, Pacific Air Forces, wants effective systems delivered on time. "A perfect course of action late to the fight isn't as good as a 90-percent solution delivered on time," he said. And, these systems should serve military needs, not those of industry.
The Army can provide ballistic missile defense capabilities to the Pacific Air Forces' air operations center. This helps improved missile threat defense. But, this data must be displayed on a separate monitor. Gen. Hostage wants that data to be consolidated with Air Force data so it can appear on a common monitor.
And, industry needs to build solutions based on Air Force needs, not its own capabilities. Gen. Hostage told industry, "Show us what you've got, look at our problem set, then help draw the links between the two."
All the advances in network centricity are creating greater problems that threaten to undo the advantages wrought by network-centric operations, noted several panelists discussing support to the warfighter. Vice Adm. Nancy Brown, USN, J-6, the Joint Staff, put it bluntly: "We say we fight joint, but our network is absolutely not joint."
Being joint is not sufficient for military operations in the 21st century, say leaders of the U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific. Col. Scott Blankenship, USMC, the G-6 for U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific, said that the complex environment of the 21st century requires new cooperative security concepts.
Civil government and the military must work together if the United States is to achieve its strategic aims in the Pacific, said a panel of civil government and military experts. And, meeting those strategic goals increasingly is a matter of "soft power challenges" that involve the military in decidedly non-military actions.
SAIC Awarded $61 Million Contract to Support Grant Administration from the National Institutes of Health
Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) has been awarded a prime contract by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health (NIH), Office of Research Information Systems to provide software development support services to the electronic Research Administration (eRA). The contract has a total value of more than $62 million if all options are exercised. eRA systems provide information technology solutions and support for the full life cycle of grants administration functions for the NIH. Under the contract, SAIC will provide a broad range of software development services, including system maintenance and enhancement and design and development services.
SRA International Incorporated has been awarded a contract by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to support the Cyber Security Management Center (CSMC). The contract has a potential value of more than $56 million if all options are exercised. SRA will support the CSMC to defend and protect the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), the FAA and other federal agencies from cyber attacks. The CSMC is established as the DOT's focal point for all information security incidents and provides a centralized operation that monitors and tracks information security incidents; conducts sensor data analysis; establishes trend analysis documentation; provides proactive and responsive corrective action capability; and provides the DOT with innovative, proactive cyber-attack prevention, detection and response capability.
Lockheed Martin Receives $30 Million Contract for Air Force Self-Awareness Space Situational Awareness Program
Lockheed Martin has received a $30 million U.S. Air Force contract for the development phase of the self-awareness space situational awareness technology demonstration program. Lockheed Martin will develop a technology demonstration payload to provide tactical space situational awareness with dedicated communications. The surveillance system will increase critical awareness of threats to U.S. satellites and will demonstrate the capability to control and manage up to eight instruments for operational systems implementation.
Verizon Business will provide a broad range of data and advanced voice services to the U.S. Defense Department's Defense Information Technology Contracting Organization through two agreements worth up to $1.12 billion. Under one agreement valued at as much as $752 million, Verizon Business will provide the Defense Department with data services, including network-based Internet protocol virtual private network services based on multi-protocol label switching, asynchronous transfer mode and wireless and point-to-point private lines for existing services. In a separate agreement valued at as much as $368 million, Verizon Business will be the primary provider for voice services to help more than 700,000 users at military locations worldwide communicate and collaborate effectively.
CSC has been awarded a task order from the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Life Cycle Management Command to provide command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) regional support center support services. The new services will support the Army's Product Manager Robotic and Unmanned Sensors and the Product Manager Countermine and Explosive Ordnance Demolition. The contract is worth an estimated $192 million if all options are exercised. CSC will provide qualified technicians and logistics personnel to provide maintenance for a collection of networked battlefield sensors and other C4ISR systems throughout Southwest Asia.