In the bright world of a fully interoperable U.S. Army, soldiers will be able to access tactical command and control information from any digital device using a standard Web browser, Dr. Michael Hieb, research associate professor, Center for Excellence in C4I, George Mason University, explained. A common operating environment also will enable military staffs to customize command and control software as needed. In fact, staff might even find themselves able to create entirely new applications to manipulate data as needed.
Within the next eight months, the U.S. Coast Guard is expected to move to the Defense Department’s enterprise email system, according to Rear Adm. Robert Day Jr., USCG, assistant commandant for command, control, communications, computers and information technology, and director, Coast Guard Cyber Command. The admiral gave the keynote address during the second day of the AFCEA SOLUTIONS Series – George Mason University Symposium, “Critical Issues in C4I.” Adm.
The term “big data” means different things to different people. To a bank, big data represents the ability to gain business intelligence from financial transactions. To the United States intelligence community, big data’s challenge comes in trying to sift through information from multiple environments in support of the warfighter.
Effectively dealing with data sets measured in terabytes and petabytes sometimes takes an ecosystem. And at times, that ecosystem is dependent on metadata, a sub-dataset that describes the dataset so that it can be analyzed quickly.
That’s according to Todd Myers, a big data specialist with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), who spoke at the AFCEA SOLUTIONS Series - George Mason University Symposium, "Critical Issues in C4I," on Tuesday.
When it comes to the U.S. Defense Department’s Joint Information Environment (JIE), it's best to toss out old thinking about information technology programs.
“The JIE is not a program,” David DeVries, deputy chief information officer for information enterprise, Defense Department, stressed. DeVries oversees the effort to tie together the vast information technology resources of the military, providing crucial information to warfighters “at the point where they need it.”
Additional headlines, bullet points, and takeaways from the AFCEA "Solutions" series conference, "Critical Issues in C4I", sponsored by AFCEA International and the George Mason University C4I conference, held May 24th-25th at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.:
In his talk regarding the G-6's strategic vision for managing IT resources ""from the Pentagon to the warfighter in theater," Col. Michael Jones, USA (Ret.), noted the most recent challenge to the U.S. Army: the explosive growth of mobile devices, such as iPhones, BlackBerrys and Android tablets.
Accreditation and certification of software is a vital, but time consuming process. On Tuesday afternoon, panelists at the AFCEA SOLUTIONS symposium discussed the challenge and ongoing attempts to streamline the process.
The ultimate goal is to create an overarching framework that standardized CUI infomation to promote the sharing of data.
When the Internet was originally created for Defense Department use, Cerf says that it was not designed to perform any particular operation besides moving bits from point to point. Because the requirements were so broad that it allowed the system to be tremendously flexible and scalable. "What is amazing is that the protocols have actually scaled [over the last 40 years]," he shared.
"If you imagine Second Life is just a game, you're missing the point."--David Wennergren, Defense Department Chief Information Officer
Experts pondered the implications and challenges for sharing data between military and civilian organizations within the U.S. government.
"At the end of the day, it's about the warfighter."--Lt. Gen. Dennis Vis, USA, director, C4 systems, Joint Staff
This is my take on the AFCEA, Northcom and George Mason University conference on "Inter-agency, Allied and Coalition Information Sharing," which was covered on SIGNAL Scape last week. No, we still can't connect the dots as well as hoped and never will, but conferees agreed that what matters most is the thoughtful and trusting use that humans could make of what information manages to flow through IT systems, however improperly they may be connected.
The Obama administration can take certain key steps to improve the ability to recognize and deal with national security threats, according to recommendations in "Nation at Risk," a report issued by the The Markle Foundation Task Force on National Security in the Information Age. Jeff Smith of Arnold & Porter LLP, a steering committee member for the report, presented it yesterday at the AFCEA SOLUTIONS conference on information sharing.
The dramatic culture shift that needs to happen for government agencies to embrace change kept coming up at the SOLUTIONS conference like the refrain of a popular song: agencies must move from an emphasis on risk avoidance to a focus on risk management. Without that shift, the quest to achieve 100 percent risk avoidance is quixotic at best; more realistically, it hampers agencies' ability to share information.
Helen Mosher and Henry Kenyon have been attending the most recent installment in the AFCEA SOLUTIONS series, "Inter-Agency, Allied and Coalition Information Sharing."
Chris Gunderson of the Naval Postgraduate School posited some interesting ideas during yesterday afternoon's plenary sessions about why everyone keeps hearing the same things about changes that need to be made. Certain things, he suggested, we should just acknowledge and move past.
Command and control (C2) still hasn't evolved with the times, according to an afternoon plenary session at AFCEA SOLUTIONS today. Dr. David S. Alberts, director of research for the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense, networks and information integration, spoke on the maturity and agility of C2. Alberts explained missions are increasingly complex, with implications on command and control:
Although there has been a great deal of progress in streamlining information sharing among allied forces over the past decade, many impediments remain. As the panelists at this morning's session on the challenges surrounding information sharing in a coalition environment noted, the devil is in the details.