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The SIGNAL Blog

Army Stands Up 7th Signal Command

August 20, 2008
By Henry Kenyon

The U.S Army is establishing the 7th Signal Command (Theater), a signal command for the continental United States (CONUS). Based at Fort Gordon, Georgia, the command reached cadre status in July and will reach initial and full operational capabilities in phased stages. The commander, Brig. Gen. Jennifer L. Napper, USA, is dual-hatted, leading the command and serving as the G-6 for Army Forces Command concurrently.

Col. Michael Kell, USA, G-3 for 7th Signal Command, explained to a track session audience here that his organization will help create centralized control in the United States for commanders looking for signal support during operations. He pointed out that the majority of troops are located within the United States, not overseas. "We are a CONUS-based Army, there's no doubt about that," he said. Part of the command's mission includes extending LandWarNet capabilites to operating and generating forces. It also will establish information managment capabilities and enable the Global Collaboration Environment.

The command will result in a restructuring of forces, with the 21st Signal Brigade scheduled to fall under its authority and the activation of the 93rd and 106th Signal Brigades at Fort Eustis, Virginia, and Fort Sam Houston, Texas. At full staffing, the 7thSignal Command Theater should employ 606 military and civilian personnel. Also unique to the command is an intelligence analysis cell within the G-2. The command will work to develop a relationship with the National Security Agency facility at Fort Gordon so the analysts can counter cyberthreats to CONUS networks.

Communication panel emphasizes security concerns

August 20, 2008
By Henry Kenyon

The U.S. Army's major communications elements are facing different issues as they try to achieve ever-changing goals amid budgetary, cultural and technological challenges.

Brig. Gen. Susan Lawrence, USA, commanding general, NETCOM/9th Signal Command, emphasized the importance of information security-and how that is not given enough attention. "We are not doing well securing our NIPRNET-it's a sieve," she told attendees at a special panel discussion today. The Army is doing well securing its SIPRNET, but it is not robust enough. The warfighter must understand the security threat, she declared.

And, this problem is going to get worse as data proliferates. Gen. Lawrence warned that, with data expected to double in the next few years, the Army must learn to manage that data smartly and efficiently. The problem is not in the pipes, but in the data flowing through them.

Training signal professionals is becoming more complex each year, and Brig. Gen. Jeffrey W. Foley, USA, commanding general of the U.S. Army Signal Center and Fort Gordon, said that his command's campaign plan is "intricately tied" to other Army information campaign plans. He said that Fort Gordon "is in relentless pursuit of world-class training."

The Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM) Life Cycle Management Command is trying to prepare to move its entire operation concurrent with combat operations overseas. Its commanding general, Maj. Gen. Dennis L, Via, USA, said that the closing of Fort Monmouth provides the command with the ability to rebuild the organization. He predicted process improvements, enhanced integration and more co-located organizations at the new facility being built at Aberdeen Proving Ground.

Hight: Think bigger

August 20, 2008
By Henry Kenyon

Where most leaders would endeavor to view the big picture, Rear Adm. Elizabeth Hight, USN, vice director, Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), sees the biggest picture of all. The issue for communicators is not about serving an activity, or a service, or even a military. Nor is it about winning a war in the kinetic sense. It is about all of the services coming together to attain a national goal. But, the rub is how an organization can pursue that goal without losing track of its own specific needs.

EF Johnson Technologies Awarded $2 Million Order from U.S. Department of Homeland Security

August 20, 2008
By Katie Packard

EF Johnson Technologies Incorporated will provide its submersible Project 25 compliant radios and accessories to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security under a $2 million task order. The Project 25 compliant radios feature the Enhanced P25 Vocoder and meet military specifications with immersion housing.

Northrop Grumman to Supply Inertial Navigation Systems to Spanish Navy

August 20, 2008
By Katie Packard

Northrop Grumman Corporation has won a contract to supply high-accuracy inertial navigation systems for four new maritime action ships that are being built for the Spanish navy. The contract is valued at more than $1.5 million and was awarded by Navantia to Northrop Grumman's Sperry Marine business unit.

Applied Energetics Receives Contract from U.S. Army Research Organization

August 20, 2008
By Katie Packard

Applied Energetics Incorporated has received a follow-on contract from the U.S. Army Research Organization to continue development of light filament sensor technology. The $351,286 award is a follow-on option to the light filament sensor phase II STTR contract. Applied Energetics will team with the Denton Group of the University of Arizona for this effort.

DRS Technical Services to Provide Satellite Communications Support

August 20, 2008
By Katie Packard

DRS Technical Services Incorporated will provide satellite communications equipment and training through a $15,733,333 indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity, firm-fixed-price contract. The contract could be worth an estimated $47.2 million if all options are exercised. The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center, Charleston, South Carolina, is the contracting activity.

NASA Awards DB Consulting a Glenn Research Center Contract

August 20, 2008
By Katie Packard

DB Consulting Group Incorporated, an 8(a)-certified small business, has received an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity follow-on contract by NASA's Glenn Research Center. DB Consulting will perform a variety of tasks, including computer science, computer and software engineering, security, networking, application development and Web services. The contract has a three-year base period with one two-year option and is worth approximately $88 million.

Booz Allen Hamilton Wins Share of $900 Million Contract with U.S. Strategic Command

August 20, 2008
By Katie Packard

Booz Allen Hamilton has been selected to provide services under the U.S. Strategic Command Systems and Missions Support (USAMS II) contract. Booz Allen is one of six firms chosen to compete for up to $900 million worth of advisory and assistance tasks. The USAMS II contract is an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract. Booz Allen will provide a range of advisory and assistance services support to the Strategic Command, the Defense Technical Information Center and the Air Force Weather Agency. Efforts include mission areas of full-spectrum global strike, space operations, computer network operations, U.S. Defense Department information operations, strategic warning, integrated missile defense, global Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, and nuclear deterrence.

Casey: Army needs reset and transformation

August 19, 2008
By Henry Kenyon

The U.S. Army is so consumed by the demands of the current fight that it cannot do the things that it is supposed to do, according to its highest-ranking officer. Gen. George W. Casey, USA, the U.S. Army chief of staff, charged that the service is badly out of whack because it has been caught between two worlds.

The United States "didn't have the Army we needed" after 9/11, Gen. Casey told a large crowd at today's plenary session. It has been transforming into the force it needs to be concurrent with combat operations around the globe, and that has not been a smooth process. Currently, the Army is about "70 percent there" in its drive to transform, the chief of staff claimed.

One thing the Army needs immediately is a systematic reset process, he emphasized. Troops that return from Iraq or Afghanistan incur substantial personnel and material costs. In terms of materiel, each rotation from those two countries costs about $70 billion to reset. Having a systematic reset process will help compel the force transformation into a true expeditionary army, he declared.

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