Once viewed by many as a security liability, wireless has become a security asset for the U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific. In its effort to identify valuable items and devices inside its facilities at all times, the command recently implemented its first wireless system ever accredited for use in secure areas. This system soon could transition to the tactical world.
All computer systems are prone to attacks from various cyberthreats, but disruptions on few of those networks have the potential to cause calamitous damage to national infrastructures.To help prevent catastrophe, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has an effort dedicated to countering these dangers through various partnerships and training opportunities.
The U.S.-led global cybersecurity exercise known as Cyber Storm will sport a new look and format when it takes place later this year. The changes reflect the constantly deviating nature of the threats posed daily to the world’s cyber infrastructure.
It is no secret that the Pentagon process for acquiring technology can be a long, cumbersome slog. But sometimes warfighters need something, and they need it now to save lives or gain an advantage over the enemy. In those cases--hundreds of cases--the rapid acquisition process can deliver capabilities weeks, months or even years quicker than the traditional routine.
U.S. Navy researchers have built a prototypical family of small, simple and affordable unmanned aerial vehicles that warfighters can use to deploy an array of sensors, tailor for a variety of missions, and launch by ones and twos or by the thousands. Essentially a flying circuit board, the miniature craft has completed basic research and development and is ready for further technological advances and eventual battlefield deployment.
Show your military pride with a series of free Android apps that provide smart phone wallpaper for the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard.
How can the military avoid cheating itself out of good personnel who leave for greener pastures? In January's Incoming column, Capt. Joseph A. Grace Jr., USN (Ret.) poses this question as he examines the delicate line between being well rounded and being an expert, noting that the military seldom promotes the expert.
U.S. combat operations in Iraq may have come to an official end, but work in the country is far from over. U.S. troops are playing more and more supportive roles and, in some cases, acting as advisers. With the help of U.S. experts, the locals are taking over their own defense and law enforcement, putting the country on track to handle all problems internally in the near future.
The complexities of communications in Afghanistan require the military to adopt new ways of doing business, such as creating the Afghan Mission Network rather than using traditional networks, and turning communicators into warfighters rather than mere supporters. The Afghan Mission Network directly addresses the military’s operational need to mix coalition forces down to the company level, which provides commanders with greater flexibility in task organization and the ability to fight more effectively as a true coalition. That seemingly simple need has sparked a chain of events that may change forever the way coalition forces communicate on the battlefield and the role that communicators play in wartime.
Warfighters in current operations now have better intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance equipment at their fingertips as the result of a push from the highest levels of the U.S. Defense Department for rapid fielding. The equipment is providing more air and ground surveillance, improved intelligence, and greater network and data applications across the services and the coalition. Consequently, warfighters at all levels know and understand the combat situation and are able to make sound decisions more quickly.
The U.S. Biometrics Identity Management Agency, an Army agency tasked with coordinating biometrics efforts across the Defense Department, is expanding capabilities and broadening data sharing with other government agencies and coalition partners. The agency, which also operates the department’s premier biometrics database, is coordinating with the departments of Justice, State and Homeland Security to share biometrics data between the three primary databases used by the various departments.
The U.S. Navy is investing significant time and effort to secure the waters that surround Latin America and the Caribbean, but not through force or interdiction. Instead, the military branch is embracing the idea that “together we can do more” by reaching out to countries in the area. This effort involves exchanging information and delivering necessary aid through an annual event designed to improve relations among nations. By participating in these activities, personnel forge long-lasting connections and provide immediate help to those who need it.
The most prevalent perils facing the mainland United States may come not from the east or the west, but from the south, an area of the globe often overlooked in the talk about global security. Unlike other U.S. geographic combatant command theaters, the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility has no wars and no major military-power threats. It does, however, encompass hundreds of billions of dollars worth of illicit trafficking every year. But those troubles are only part of the story. The command also serves as a model for the power of interagency collaboration and neighbor-to-neighbor support, as many countries in the region have been able to grow their democracy, reduce the size and influence of terrorist groups and offer aid to nations hit hard by natural disasters. Relationships and technology can hold the answers for bringing stability to an area that historically has been unsettled.
In the war against illicit drug trafficking, the U.S. Southern Command is employing unmanned weapons that are disrupting the operations of drug-running organizations. By combining remotely controlled air, surface and subsurface vehicles to monitor criminals moving drugs from South America northward, the United States and local law enforcement agencies are shutting down the avenues drug traffickers once dominated. The result has been a mixed blessing. While the flow of drugs has been disrupted, the use of unmanned assets to scrutinize air and sea transport has forced these criminals to move their product via land through countries that must deal with the consequences.
Based on technology being developed through the U.S. Army’s Robotics Collaborative Technology Alliance, unmanned systems of the future could become trusted companions on the battlefield—much like canines have been for thousands of years.
Controlling an anti-missile system? There's an app for that. A mobile program developed for the U.S. military serves as a refresher tool for troops assigned to the Patriot anti-missile system.
A seemingly dead program now has new life as the basis of a U.S. Army tactical communications system. Building on extensive past funding, the service is excerpting pieces of the past and crafting them into a network for the future. This time around, the Army is drawing the users into the design process sooner so that the results are likely to pay big dividends.
An iPhone app receiving high ratings could prove to be a one-stop shop for users serving in the U.S. military, their families, veterans and anyone interested in the topic.
U.S. sailors are protecting the ocean blue as they ride the waves, but they also are thinking green. The Navy is making great strides as caretaker of the waters and the air it requires for its operations while never forgetting that its primary mission is to win wars. The establishment of a Green Strike Group, a unit of powerful ships and assets that will operate at least part of the time on biofuels, reconciles the need for a healthier Earth along with the needs of enhanced security and mission effectiveness. The alternative fuel sources that the Green Strike Group will use meet specific criteria that save energy and benefit the American people.
An emerging virtual training solution will mitigate the challenge many small-unit joint operators face when preparing for deployment from various locations. The Tactical Joint Training and Experimentation Network addresses live-asset training gaps by extending a strategic joint training network. This network links disparate aircrews located in a simulator with live, small-unit ground forces to rehearse joint tasks.