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The SIGNAL Blog

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.

Sorenson: LandWarNet Program Fragmented, Needs Coordinated Plan

August 19, 2008
By Henry Kenyon

The U.S. Army's LandWarNet program, the focus of Army IT modernization-and the focus of this conference-is fragmented, unsecure, expensive and not standardized. This came from Lt. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sorenson, USA, the U.S. Army chief information officer (CIO)/G-6. He told today's luncheon audience that the Army will fix these problems, but it will take a coordinated plan to do so. This Army enterprise network campaign plan will be developed by October, he offered.

Budgetary pressures could impose severe limitations on the Army's ability to modernize its IT infrastructure. Gen. Sorenson told an attentive audience how the Army is entering a period of tremendous uncertainty in terms of its budget, with only half of the IT programs currently funded.

Many existing Army battle command systems in the field are stovepiped, the general noted. The FCS BC is a system of systems, but not every Army system will be FCS-enabled, so interoperability remains a goal.

Donahue: Enabling Expeditionary Capabilities in a CONUS Based Army

August 19, 2008
By Henry Kenyon

Despite its ongoing operations around the world, the U.S. Army is a CONUS-based force that must be able to deploy its capabilities seamlessly. Unfortunately, that is not yet the case. Brig. Gen. Brian Donahue, USA, director of the LandWarNet office, Army G-3/5/7, described that challenge to an overflow crowd in a combined track this morning exploring expeditionary capabilities and horizontal network centricity.

And, the Army must be able to maintain its full capabilities throughout the entire spectrum of a deployed operation. Gen. Donahue declared that the Army no longer can afford to separate operational aspects. It must engage in decisive combat-phase three-concurrent with phase four stabilization operations. This was not done in the Iraq War, and now U.S. forces are paying the price.
So it must smooth out capability changes throughout deployment and operation. When the Army was forward deployed, this was not as much of an issue. But now, it cannot afford problems on the CONUS end.

Plans are underway. Over the next 60 days, the Army will sort out a construct at the DOIM level, he stated.

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