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Southwest Asia

Making Tactical Communications History

May 1, 2013
By George I. Seffers

Two brigades from the Army's 10th Mountain Division are preparing to deploy to Afghanistan with a host of technologies that will allow the units to provide their own network down to the tactical edge. The new equipment provides battalion and company commanders with a communications on the move capability and pushes critical data down to the individual squad level.

Marine Corps Ponders Training Changes

April 1, 2013
By Max Cacas

After a special operations deployment, handling state-of-the-art communications technology tops the list.

Back from a nearly year-long deployment to Afghanistan, the 1st Marine Special Operations Battalion already is working to apply lessons learned to training for the next deployment. As the battalion prepares for its next mission, it is reflecting on what its Marines learned about how they train, how their equipment worked and how they will prepare themselves for the future.

While they are able to use some of the best electronic communications gear developed for the military, the Marines nonetheless are trying to learn how they can improve both their initial and follow-up training to get the most out of that equipment. They also are asking important questions about whether they have enough, and the right kinds, of equipment.

Chief Warrant Officer 2 (CWO2) Jason Reed, USMC, is a spectrum operations officer, G-6, and one of the members of the Marine battalion responsible for supporting the communications needs of Marines during the deployment. CWO2 Reed says one of the first things his bosses at the Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command (MARSOC) headquarters wanted to know is what worked, what went well and, more importantly, what needed improvement based on the deployment. For CWO2 Reed, that meant one thing: training for combat service support personnel.

He explains that MARSOC recruits Marines who have already received training for more conventional duties. “They’re radio operators, they’re maintenance folks, they’re cryptologists, they’re data network operators,” CWO2 Reed outlines. Upon arrival at MARSOC, however, the Marines receive a new level of training to support Special Operations, getting what he calls “a new baseline” in training.

LGS Innovations to Modernize Southwest Asia Communications Hub

February 25, 2013
George I. Seffers

 
LGS Innovations, Herndon, Va., recently announced it has been awarded a contract worth just over $49 million to upgrade the U.S. Army’s Main Communications Facility (MCF) in Southwest Asia. The MCF, designed as a state-of-the-art commercial communications operations center, will serve as the central information systems hub for the region. The MCF will house 9,000 square feet of usable equipment room space and will be capable of multiplexing and de-multiplexing circuits transported over copper, fiber, satellite, or terrestrial line of sight radios. LGS will engineer, furnish, install, test, and secure the Army’s extensive network, transmission, and voice infrastructure in Southwest Asia. The company has also been tasked to execute a critical cutover of transmission circuits as well as design, develop, furnish, and install a virtualized infrastructure to accommodate the migration of servers and their applications from existing facilities to the MCF.

Turkish Groups Provide 
Industry, Government Bridge

November 1, 2012
By Max Cacas

A major aim is to serve as a forum for the nation's defense companies to alleviate concerns over fiscal austerity.

Non-governmental organizations serve a valuable role in bridging industry and the military in Turkey. The NATO stalwart has developed its own high-technology defense sector, which now is expanding its export market penetration. This sector also stands to play a major role as NATO develops a technology acquisition architecture in which its member nations play complementary roles rather than competing ones. Because of the need for close coordination between government and industry, non-governmental organizations carry out essential missions in the defense establishment.

Representing a nation that historically has stood at the crossroads between Europe and Asia, the Turkey Chapter of AFCEA International reflects a very active defense industrial community supporting the needs of both the Turkish government and its trading partner nations. Founded in November 1989, the chapter itself has a unique history, according to Col. Ismet Bora Büyüköner, TUA (Ret.), president of the AFCEA Turkey chapter.

“The AFCEA Turkey Chapter was founded at the directive of the Turkish Ministry of National Defense and the Turkish General Staff, under the leadership of the Undersecretariat of the Turkish Defense Industries,” he outlines.

The chapter has been approved as a scientific purpose association by the defense ministry, which means that members of the Turkish Armed Forces are allowed to become AFCEA members with permission from superior officers. Membership in the chapter is open to individuals and companies that “operate in the field of communications, electronics and information technology,” according to the chapter,’s website.

Two Firms to Provide International Information Assurance Support

March 23, 2012
By George Seffers

DRS Technical Services Incorporated, Herndon, Virginia, and M. C. Dean Incorporated, Dulles, Virginia, are each being awarded a $16,600,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, firm-fixed-price multiple award contract for the support of the electronic security systems, information assurance, and engineering network system programs for government facilities in the European, Middle Eastern, African, Southwest Asian, and Central Asian regions. These contracts include options, which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of the individual contracts to an estimated $94,700,000.  Work will be performed entirely outside the continental United States and is expected to be completed by March 2017, of all options are exercised. Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Atlantic, Charleston, South Carolina, is the contracting activity.

Online Supply Store Contract Modified

June 22, 2011
By George Seffers

Newbegin Enterprises Incorporated, Johnson City, Tennessee, is being awarded an $11 million contract modification for an Internet-based contractor operated parts store, which will provide a venue for personnel in the southwest Asia area of operations to purchase vehicle parts. The 20th Contracting Squadron, Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, is the contracting activity.

Online Parts Store to Supply Troops in Southwest Asia

June 15, 2011
By George Seffers

Newbegin Enterprises Incorporated, Johnson City, Tennessee, is being awarded a $75 million maximum contract for an Internet-based, contractor-operated parts store, which will provide a venue for personnel in the Southwest Asia area of operations to purchase vehicle parts. The government shall require contractor delivery of specific products by issuance of delivery orders. The 20th Contracting Squadron, Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, is the contracting activity.

U.S. Navy Modifies Satellite Internet Protocol Contract

April 7, 2011
By George Seffers

DRS Technologies Incorporated, Herndon, Virginia, is being awarded a potential $169 million contract modification for satellite internet protocol services to support morale, welfare and recreation and other non-Global Information Grid operations and programs supported by Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Atlantic, European Office. This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract, including this modification, to $497 million. Work will be performed in Southwest Asia (95 percent) and Europe (5 percent), and is expected to be completed December 2011. Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Atlantic, Charleston, South Carolina, is the contracting activity.

ITT to Operate Communications in Iraq, Afghanistan, Qatar and Kuwait

April 5, 2011
By George Seffers

ITT Systems Corporation, Colorado Springs, Colorado, was recently awarded a more than $96 million contract for the operation and maintenance of communication facilities, systems and equipment in Southwest and Central Asia and Africa. Work will be performed in Iraq, Afghanistan, Qatar and Kuwait, with an estimated completion date of March 31, 2012. The U.S. Army Contracting Command, Fort Huachuca, Arizona, is the contracting activity.

Iraqi Telecommunications Upgrades Impart Hard Lessons

February 2009
By Robert Fonow

Iraq’s technological telecommunications leap into the 21st century has left the country short on experts available to work in traditional communications areas. The success of reconstruction efforts in the country demonstrates that citizens are hungry to embrace mobile communications devices. But ushering a nation with little to no technology toward state-of-the-art telecommunications also revealed that introducing modern communications is about more than just raising a few cell towers and sticking cell phones in citizens’ hands. It can be a misstep that winds up costing the United States millions of dollars.

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