The SIGNAL Blog
Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) has been awarded the professional support services task order from the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology. The contract has a total value of $31 million if all options are exercised. SAIC will provide a broad range of technical services and analytical support, including systems management; systems integration; strategic communications; plans, programs and resources; and Army modernization efforts.
Lockheed Martin has received an $8.9 million production order under a U.S. Army contract for 150 integrated Dewar cooler assembly thermal cameras from Gyrocam Systems. Lockheed Martin's SBF cameras are designed into Gyrocam systems and provide thermal capabilities to the Army's vehicle optics sensor system for mine protected vehicles.
Booz Allen Hamilton has been awarded a $34,500,105 contract for survivability research and development analysis to the European Security Operations Center and the U.S. Army Europe's 66th Military Intelligence Group. Booz Allen has also received an $18.9 million contract to provide the U.S. Marine Corps with logistics chain survivability analysis. Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, is the contracting activity.
System integration is the name of the game if the U.S. Army is to be able to succeed in this new age of persistent conflict, said Lt. Gen. Michael A. Vane, USA, director of the Army Capabilities Integration Center. Saying that the Army is challenged to fight this new war, the general called for network access for the leader and the soldier.
Land power, more than any other domain, requires integration of processes and capabilities, he told a luncheon audience. And, this state of persistent conflict has increased the importance of the individual soldier. That translates to a broad-based integration of systems to extend beneficial capabilities down to the warfighter.
A key element is the development of architectures, Gen. Vane pointed out. He said the operational architecture must drive the system architecture, which must be supported by a technology architecture. Right now, teams are working toward vital integration goals.
The dream of a separate and distinct cyberspace command is not going to happen, because cyberspace is an arena in which everyone operates. This was the declaration of the director, U.S. Army Information Operations (USAIOP) and U.S. Army Computer Network Operation-Electronic Warfare Proponents (USAEWP), Combined Arms Command, Fort Leavenworth. Col. Wayne A. Parks, USA, told a track presentation audience yesterday that all aspects of the force use cyberspace, so it is not so much a specific discipline as a theater of operations.
"We have operations in cyberspace, not cyberspace operations," he stated.
Col. Parks added that cyberspace cannot be separated from electronic warfare, as adversaries are using all of the electromagnetic spectrum to access networks. The wired and wireless worlds now are similar.
Gen. Kevin P. Chilton, USAF, commander, U.S. Strategic Command had a message for attendees here, emphasizing that cyberspace is a domain that the military must operate in and defend. "I consider the surface of the ocean a domain...I consider land a domain," he said during the morning plenary address. "I consider air a domain. I consider space a domain and I consider cyberspace a domain."
Problems in cyberspace can extend to other domains, reducing the ability to command and control troops and conduct missions effectively. In addition, vulnerabilites in one part of the network can affect locations worldwide. Intelligence support is critical for network operations just as it is for operations in other areas. Gen. Chilton called recent attacks on U.S. networks espionage, similar to the practices used by spies. "This can all be done from the comfort of your home in your parent country," he stated
To protect the network, personnel must be prepared and policies must be enforced. The U.S. military needs to improve the security of the Nonsecure Internet protocol routing network by training all warfighters on rules and regulations regarding its use and ensuring such procedures are followed. Gen. Chilton recommends that commanders make it their business to pay attention to the health of the networks every day, and concern themselves with problems and violations. To help alleviate these problems, he advocates cyberspace training in the military academies and service schools, as well as military cyberspace exercises and training events to prepare for attacks.
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.
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.
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.