While other commanders speak of esoteric needs, the head of the U.S. Army, Pacific cites both technological and cultural expertise as the key to mission success. Lt. Gen. Benjamin R. Mixon, USA, commander, U.S. Army, Pacific, is calling for specific new technologies to help his force meet its dynamic mission requirements.
The SIGNAL Blog
The biggest challenge in securing and operating networks efficiently may be to understand them-which currently is not taking place, said Lt. Gen. Douglas M. Fraser, USAF, deputy commander, U.S. Pacific Command. Leading off the first full day of TechNet Asia-Pacific 2008, Gen. Fraser offered observations about network operations and security that tended to be more philosophical than technical.
The U.S. Defense Department, through Military OneSource, has established a Wounded Warrior Resource Center (WWRC) telephone number and e-mail address. Troops, veterans and their families can call (800) 342-9647 or send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org to request support if they have concerns or difficulties during the recovery process. Both methods of contact are operational 24/7.
Intelligence officers in the Pacific theater have seen the future, and it is commercial. That was a point driven home by the opening panel in TechNet Asia-Pacific 2008, now under way in Honolulu, Hawaii. The J-2 panel focused on intelligence challenges, and panelists cited the need for commercial technologies and capabilities to fulfill intelligence sharing needs across diverse coalitions and partnerships.
Pragmatics Incorporated has received a $17 million task order to provide systems engineering and technical support services for biometrics systems supporting the U.S. Army. The task order was awarded under the Defense Information Systems Agency ENCORE II contract, a multiple-award vehicle open to all federal agencies. Pragmatics will provide program, architectural, engineering and analytical support to the Army.
Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) has been awarded a task order to provide information technology support and services to the U.S. Central Command's (CENTCOM's) Directorate of Command, Control, Communications and Computers (J-6). The task order has a ceiling value of $226 million if all options are exercised. Under the task order, SAIC will provide command, control, communications and computer information (C4I) support for the entire CENTCOM organization. Services will include planning, program management, integration, operation and maintenance of headquarters and/or joint theater-level communications and computer networks.
iRobot Corporation has received a $3.7 million order from the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) under an existing indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract for delivery of 17 PackBot Man Transportable Robotic System (MTRS) robots and repair parts.
L-3 Communications' global security and engineering solutions (GS&ES) unit has been awarded a five-year, $92.2 million task order by the General Services Administration's Federal Acquisition Service for the U.S. Army's Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC). Under the task order, GS&ES will support the Army Architecture Integration and Management Directorate and the Army Capabilities Integration Center as well as other TRADOC centers of excellence throughout the continental U.S.
Lockheed Martin has been selected by the Office of the Secretary of Defense to provide information technology support across its Defense Media Activity organization. The contract is worth up to $59 million if all options are exercised. Lockheed Martin will manage and operate the network infrastructure, information security components, uninterruptible power systems, leased communication services, cable plant, telecommunications closets and equipment rooms, and cryptographic equipment.
"Significant change" is needed in how organizations approach questions of efficiency and effectiveness, writes Lt. Gen. Harry D. Raduege Jr., USAF (Ret.) in this month's Incoming column, Change Is a Requisite for the Future of Network-Centric Operations. Noting how businesses are embracing Internet-based Web services and social networking media, he makes a case for a culture of risk-taking and risk managment, and an ecosystem-like, nodal information structure to better achieve an interoperable information core and cut down on translation overhead. While he doesn't discount the security, privacy and intellectual property issues that will come up, he says that we're already well past anywhere we might have dreamed of just 10 years ago, and emphasizes that government must keep pace:
Continuous improvement in cybersecurity, situational awareness, decision making and response to events across all organizational venues is a national imperative and is being driven by speed. Technology is evolving at a rate that continues to leave behind those who lack the agility to accommodate its accelerating rate of change. Achieving this agility requires institutionalizing a culture of risk taking and risk management, along with streamlined acquisition processes.
The single enterprise concept or vertically oriented approach is not the answer. Power lies in shaping and advancing information and knowledge sharing as a global capability across all operational entities. This will create a competitive advantage that denies opportunities to adversaries and is capable of responding to their actions with speed, precision and measured effect. The resultant global adaptive network of networks eventually will challenge, if not render obsolete, present views on bandwidth limitations, information assurance, reliability and connectivity.