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US Navy

U.S. Navy Charts Rough Fiscal Seas Ahead, Sees IT As A Lifeboat

June 13, 2011
By Max Cacas

Additional highlights from the AFCEA NOVA Chapter's 10th Annual Naval IT Day include notes about procurement and acquisition in the coming lean years and improvement of IT systems for better data management.

Don't Go Chasing Technological Waterfalls

June 13, 2011
By Max Cacas

"Get it done quickly" is the mantra of Chris Miller, Executive Director of the Navy's Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command Center, Atlantic (SPAWAR), which is also referred to as the Navy's Information Dominance Systems Command. While SPAWAR's Pacific office handles research and development, Miller's group, based in Charleston, N.C. is responsible for acquisitions and getting technology on board ships and into the hands of warfighters.

One of his group's biggest procurements: the life-saving MRAPs (Mine Resistant Armored Protected) vehicle, pioneered by the Marines. "We do 16,000 MRAPs a year, 50 a day, 1,000 a month," he told attendees of the 10th Annual Naval IT Day, held by the AFCEA NOVA Chapter last Thursday. "All MRAPs are not the same," he added, remarking that in some cases, the C4I capabilities of the average MRAP, which constitutes the radios, displays and IT-related equipment found inside, often cost more than the vehicle in which they are installed. Another one of the successful tech projects fielded by his office is a completely mobile air traffic control system that ships in standard shipping containers, which they partnered with the Air Force to develop. Miller said the acquiring environment is changing to meet congressional mandates for reduced spending, and says acquisition must be "accelerated" with a "minimum of complexity," and have an emphasis on "interoperability." He stressed, "operational excellence of the fleet is more important than just chasing technological solutions."

Mutiny Aboard the USS "Petroleum"

July 23, 2010
By Beverly Schaeffer

For the Navy and other services, advantages of biofuels are obvious and desirable. Top Agriculture Department and Navy leaders emphasize the benefits of renewable energy sources not only to the military but also to the entire United States. How can industry help the Navy reach its timetable goals, and how do all participants in the alternative energy theater collaborate to share resources and implement them?

All Aboard? Yes, Women Too.

February 24, 2010
By Katie Packard

According to Defense Secretary Gates, the Navy plans to repeal its ban on women serving on submarines. He signed a letter to Congress last week that outlines the Navy's plan to lift the policy by phasing in women assigned to subs.

The Chosen Ones Bear the Mark

February 23, 2010
By Katie Packard

Or rather, insignia. The U.S. Navy's chief of naval operations has approved officers and enlisted to wear the Information Dominance Corps Warfare insignia after they have completed a qualification program.

Virtual Collaboration

May 8, 2009
By Beverly Schaeffer

The value of the virtual realm for training has been recognized for some time, but now artificial reality is being exploited for many other applications. Web 2.0 capabilities have opened new doors in cyberspace, and people and organizations are embracing the new world of virtual collaboration. The only limits to using this make-believe realm may be those of human imagination. SIGNAL's May issue looks at ongoing efforts to explore collaboration in the virtual world.

Office of Naval Research (ONR)

January 7, 2009
By Henry Kenyon

The Office of Naval Research (ONR) is the chief research center for the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps. Its home page highlights ongoing projects across a range of disciplines. Visitors can access information about programs in areas such as expeditionary maneuver warfare; command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR); ocean battlespace sensing; sea warfare and weapons; and naval air warfare and weapons. Each of these sections drills down into areas highlighting specific research programs focusing on autonomous systems and sensor fusion.

The home page also features a step-by-step guide for businesses interested in working with the ONR. Researchers and students can find program managers or search for study and internship programs.

Submerged Submarine Communications Link Established

November 26, 2008
By H. Mosher

The U.S. Navy has successfully conducted the first large-scale test of a technology that enables commanders to communicate with a submerged submarine, regardless of its speed and depth. In the final evaluations of the Deep Siren tactical paging system, which were held in June and August, a Navy submarine deployed special communications buoys that reached the surface to establish a communications link between the vessel and the test team in Norfolk, Virginia. The Deep Siren buoys can receive and transmit satellite communications, converting them to acoustic signals.

Littoral Combat Ship Era Begins

November 19, 2008
By H. Mosher

The U.S. Navy has commissioned the first littoral combat ship (LCS). The 378-foot USS Freedom features interchangeable mission packages so that it can be reconfigured for antisubmarine, mine and surface warfare on an as-needed basis. It is filled with advanced networking capabilities that enable it to share tactical information with other Navy aircraft, ships and submarines as well as with joint units. USS Freedom can operate in water that is less than 20 feet deep and can travel at speeds exceeding 40 knots. In addition to tactical and communications tasks, the new LCS will serve as the platform for launch and recovery of manned and unmanned vehicles.

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