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Acquisition

Customs and Border Protection Not Interested in Mobility for Mobility's Sake

March 10, 2014
George I. Seffers

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency is only interested in mobile communication if it allows the agency to perform functions it could not perform otherwise, Mark Borkowski, component acquisition executive and assistant commissioner with the CBP Office of Technology Innovation and Acquisition, told the audience at the AFCEA Homeland Security Conference in Washington, D.C., on Monday.

NIE Successes for Small Businesses

February 28, 2014
By Rita Boland

As the U.S. Army’s Network Integration Evaluation continues to build on its positives and address its challenges, progress is being made in acquiring more capability from small business through efforts at the event.

Sometimes It Takes a Village

February 21, 2014
By George I. Seffers

When I first contacted the Pentagon public affairs office for an interview on the Better Buying Power initiative, I was willing to interview any subject matter expert they could line me up with. Shortly after I sent in my query, the government shut down, the public affairs source I was working with was furloughed and my query was going nowhere fast. 

Looking Within and Looking Beyond the Far Horizon

February 14, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

Internal change may be the key to managing external change as the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Coast Guard enter a new era of limited budgets and unlimited global challenges. From research and development to acquisition, these services are looking toward changing methods and technologies to keep the force viable and accomplish their missions. Meanwhile, a range of adversaries continue striving to find and exploit weaknesses in U.S. capabilities and operations.

Question: Should industry ignore the Joint Information Environment (JIE)?

March 1, 2014
By Al Mink

It’s impossible these days to attend a U.S. Defense Department information technology presentation without repeated mentions of the Joint Information Environment (JIE). But industry representatives often ask, “What does JIE mean to me?” I did some digging into the environment—leveraging the expertise of the AFCEA Technology Committee, discussions with several senior defense information technology leaders and insights from colleagues at my firm who participated in JIE Increment 1 in Europe.

Military leaders emphasize that the JIE is not a funded program. However, industry would be wrong to relegate the environment to the graveyard of other unfunded initiatives. The JIE affects industry in three areas: subject matter expertise (SME), directly related modernization and non-JIE modernization.

Already, the military has tapped industry for SME support. For example, both the department’s chief information officer and the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) have obtained industry expertise through task orders containing JIE scope. As the JIE gains momentum, government organizations increasingly will require SME related to the JIE.

Romania Stretches Out Military Modernization

March 1, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

Romania has opted to extend its force modernization period rather than cut important purchases as it deals with its version of the global budget crisis. Despite suffering from the severe economic downturn that began more than five years ago, the Black Sea country continues to upgrade its military with the goal of being a significant security force in an uncertain region.

National Security Advances in an Increasingly Connected World

March 1, 2014
By Rita Boland

Homeland security officials are battling privacy and technology issues amid the new social media era that offers both challenges and opportunities. Just as new technologies and information sharing architectures have improved interagency data sharing, new sources of potentially valuable information have emerged to vex planners who must handle technical obstacles and personal rights.

Coast Guard Develops Indigenous Technologies for Cutters

March 1, 2014
By George I. Seffers

By the end of this fiscal year, the next-generation command and control system for much of the cutter fleet should be installed on the U.S. Coast Guard’s 270-foot cutter class, and the system is now being considered for inclusion on 225-foot and 110-foot vessels. The system, called SeaWatch, combines navigational and tactical, optical surveillance and communications into one situational awareness picture; provides commonality across the fleet; and replaces an aging system that has outlived its usefulness.

Technology Holds the Key to an Effective Slimmed-Down Military

February 11, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

Business as usual will weaken rather than strengthen the U.S. military in this time of budget cuts. The force must rely on technology development to ensure that it does not maintain current force sizes at the expense of enablers.

Defense Planners Face Hard Decisions

February 11, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

The U.S. military must make difficult decisions that will define the force for years to come amid a substantial risk to readiness and effectiveness, according to a Defense Department official. The nation faces new challenges throughout the world coupled with severe budget cuts at home, and the response to these issues must be taken carefully with a long-term strategic look.

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