June 2010
By Henry S. Kenyon, SIGNAL Magazine

A U.S. Army organization is changing the way information is protected by embedding personnel and assessment processes into research and development programs. The center works with researchers to put security procedures in place by helping program managers identify and safeguard vital data. But protecting that information is challenging because it often is difficult to determine what is and is not sensitive material.

April 27, 2010
By Paul Strassmann

Two weeks ago, I listened to a U.S. Marine Corps brigadier general plead for a lightweight personal computer that shooters could use at the squad level. All of the talk he heard about net-centric networks was meaningless because network centricity did not reach where it was needed. If the civilians could walk around with BlackBerrys, why couldn't the U.S. Defense Department provide comparable services?

March 16, 2010
By Katie Packard

You don't have to be a dummy to need help preparing for a test. The ASVAB Practice for Dummies app helps future warfighters get the best score possible on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery exam. The application, which costs $9.99, offers three full-length practice tests; study tips; practice questions in several categories such as communication, technical skills and arithmetic; and more.

March 2010
By Brig. Gen. Bernard K. Skoch, USAF (Ret.), SIGNAL Magazine

Ask any small unit deployed in theater, and troops will say their number one communications challenge is obtaining ready access to reliable, real-time voice and data connectivity. An innovative satellite-based tactical communications system featuring a unique multicast one-to-many architecture is helping warfighters solve that problem, and it works virtually anywhere, including the challenging terrain of Afghanistan.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010
By Henry S. Kenyon

A U.S. Air Force fighter jet recently performed as a reconnaissance platform by using a targeting sensor to detect radio emissions and then transmitting their type and location in near real time to commanders and troops on the ground. The demonstration at a military exercise highlighted the use of nontraditional aerial platforms, such as fast attack jets, for surveillance and reconnaissance.

January 19, 2010
By Katie Packard

Some people live and breathe the Army 24/7. Now anyone can be all Army, all the time with the U.S. Army iPhone app.

December 2009
By Maryann Lawlor

A kaleidoscope of issues, priorities, methods and rules influences the decision-making process that provides warfighters with the equipment and technical capabilities they want and need in current operations. The challenges run deeper and wider than simply fixing the acquisition processes or building a new platform. They involve aligning just the right pieces of relevance, adaptability, scalability and affordability to promote significant change while smoothly tipping the mechanisms to develop at an ample rate.

October 26, 2009
By Beverly Schaeffer

U.S. Forces Korea is recognizing the benefits of Web 2.0 capabilities and is using them to transform its decision-making processes.

November 2009
By Henry S. Kenyon

Upgrades to a major command and control system soon will provide U.S. commanders with better tools to coordinate theater- and strategic-level operations.

September 17, 2009
By H. Mosher

Lt. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sorenson, USA, chief information officer (CIO)/G-6 policy, and Maj. Gen. Nickolas Justice, USA, program executive officer, Command, Control and Communications-Tactical (PEO C3T), had a lot to say about innovation in the U.S. Army at the Gov 2.0 Summit last week.

September 10, 2009
By H. Mosher

When Price Floyd, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, came on board at the Defense Department a couple of months ago, he got the directive from Sec. Gates to use social media to engage-not just push out messages. But within days of starting, Floyd found that most of those social media channels had been shut down.

June 2009
By Henry S. Kenyon

A new missile soon will allow different U.S. aircraft to attack a wider range of targets while providing improved targeting and range performance over current air-to-ground missiles. The missile can operate on a variety of aircraft with little or no modification because its software automatically interfaces with the platform’s targeting system. By moving to one standardized missile, the U.S. military also aims to reduce its maintenance and supply costs while enhancing operational flexibility.

April 6, 2009

U.S. Army attack helicopters operating in Southwest Asia now can receive video and data from unmanned aerial platforms, enhancing situational awareness and reducing sensor-to-shooter times. The Video from Unmanned Aerial Systems for Interoperability Teaming-Level 2 (VUITTM-2) capability provides the crews of AH-64 Apache attack helicopters with real-time streaming video and metadata shown on multipurpose displays. The VUITTM-2 can transmit both Apache and unmanned aerial systems (UAS) video via a mini-tactical common datalink to troops equipped with One System Remote Video Terminals.

April 5, 2009

The U.S. Army is enhancing its mobile ground-based radars designed to detect incoming enemy artillery rounds. The AN/TPQ-37 Firefinder weapon-locating radar is a long-range system that is being deployed across the service to locate the sources of enemy mortar, artillery and rocket fire, and to relay that data for counterfire by friendly units. As part of the Army's Reliability Maintainability Improvement (RMI) program, the entire inventory of AN/TPQ-37 and AN/TPQ-36 Firefinder systems will be modified with a modular, air-cooled transmitter and new common radar processors.

April 4, 2009

A U.S. Navy Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) unmanned aircraft system (UAS) is part of the joint mission of the U.S. Air Force 380th Air Expeditionary Wing in Southwest Asia. The new role marks the first operational mission for the BAMS UAS-a maritime derivative of the RQ-4 Global Hawk-although the aircraft has been used in noncombat roles. BAMS' arrival in Southwest Asia is the culmination of more than five months of a joint effort to stand up a maritime surveillance presence in the region.

April 2009
By Henry S. Kenyon

Dismounted warfighters soon will have access to live imagery transmitted from aerial sensor platforms. This mobile video capability allows infantry and special operations units to capture and share video streams across tactical communications and data networks. The equipment consists of two new lightweight systems that move what had originally been a command post and vehicle-based system to the company and squad level.

December 4, 2008
By H. Mosher

Future U.S. Navy submarines will be able to obtain a better operational picture by launching their own unmanned aerial systems (UASs). A recent test by the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Newport, Rhode Island, demonstrated that a submerged vessel can deploy a UAS at sea.

December 2008
By Robert K. Ackerman and Maryann Lawlor

Rapidly deploying U.S. forces now can tap expertise directly related to their hastily assigned missions from a new organization formed to address the deployment needs of joint task forces. The group can bring in experts ranging from public affairs specialists to intelligence officers.

November 2008
By Maryann Lawlor

Conversion of four of the U.S. Navy’s Trident missile submarines into covert transportation for U.S. special operations forces could lead to investigations that perfect laser communications. A proposed experiment to evaluate the effect of real-world weather conditions on free space optics systems aims at honing the ability to communicate tactical information in clandestine operations in real time and at high fidelity.

June 2008
By Henry S. Kenyon

The U.S. military’s newest combat aircraft, the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, is designed as a multirole platform capable of carrying out a range of missions for different services and foreign allies. Its brains are an advanced software programmable avionics package that can be rapidly reconfigured for new operations. The package manages the aircraft’s navigations, communications, electronic warfare, and identification friend or foe functions. Although it was developed for use in fighter aircraft, the electronics package can potentially be installed in a range of airborne and ground-based vehicles.