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SIGNAL Connections

International Contracts

March 17, 2008
SIGNAL Staff

British to Define SOSI Framework
The U.K. Ministry of Defence (MOD) has awarded a contract for the System-of-Systems Integrator (SOSI) role on the Future Rapid Effect System (FRES) program. The effort defines the framework for the SOSI’s ongoing position in the subsequent phases of the FRES program, which will provide the British Army with a new family of medium-weight, network-enabled armored vehicles. SOSI’s role is to drive the successful delivery of a coherent FRES capability. The integrator will provide expertise in the following areas: program management; system-of-systems engineering and integration; through-life capability and technology management; alliance development and supply chain management; and development of the MOD's SOSI competence. An initial six-month contract worth £4 million (USD $8 million) was awarded to Thales UK in partnership with the Boeing Company. The contractor team will be integrated into the MOD’s FRES project team to form an integrated customer team that will manage the delivery of FRES.

Team Coordinates Iraqi Communications Efforts

March 17, 2008
By Maryann Lawlor

A coalition team of U.S. military and government experts is working with representatives from the Iraqi government to create a blueprint for the future of Iraq’s information and communications technology infrastructure. The Iraq Communications Coordination Element (ICCE) is helping Iraq identify gaps and opportunities in its current and planned initiatives and will assist in prioritizing, synchronizing and integrating efforts across the country. One goal is to move Iraq toward privatization and a governance structure for managing its telecommunications.

Coordination of Iraq’s telecommunications efforts could bear fruit in a number of areas where progress is currently lagging. In addition to supporting the command and control of the country’s military and first responder squads, reliable communications capabilities are viewed as crucial to Iraq’s security, governance, health, education and business sectors. In terms of coalition operations in Iraq, communications coordination and a single, comprehensive picture of capabilities in the country will boost available bandwidth, reduce reliance on expensive commercial satellite leasing and promote interoperability among military forces.

Intelligence Enters a New Era

March 17, 2008
SIGNAL Staff

The nature of intelligence changes with national security threats and the evolution of warfare. As old enemies fade and new ones emerge, intelligence adjusts to deal with new adversaries. Similarly, the march of technology changes the nature of warfighting, and intelligence incorporates new technologies and methodologies to adapt to the changing ways of war. But the intelligence community today is encountering a force for change that goes beyond evolutionary developments or geostrategic shifts.

Efforts to reshape the intelligence community have been in the forefront of government dialogue since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Most of these efforts have aimed at adjusting the intelligence community to accommodate the newly discovered threat of global terrorism. Among the many recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Report was to restructure the community under a single director of national intelligence. A key intended effect would be improved information sharing in this era of global terrorism.

But the changes that the intelligence community is impelled to undergo are much greater than establishing new lines of communication across interagency lines. As important as that is, much more vital to the effectiveness of the intelligence community is the need to change to meet the onrushing future in this information age. The two concepts are both connected and independent.

Information technologies are proving vital to terrorists as they attempt to carry out attacks from diverse locations around the globe. Whether recruiting, funding, exercising command and control or collecting information, terrorists have taken note of the information revolution and are exploiting its aspects. Intelligence must both track and counter that exploitation.

Employee Transfer Effort Taps Technical Expertise

August 15, 2007
Henry S. Kenyon

A unique exchange program permits government and private sector organizations to exchange high-tech workers. The goal of the Information Technology Exchange Program (ITEP) is to provide both sectors with an opportunity to share best practices and to better understand each other’s operating practices and hurdles.

Japan Acquires Missile Defense Shield

February 15, 2008
by Henry S. Kenyon

New capability provides security from hostile states, but challenges remain for coalition operations.

News Briefs

February 15, 2008
SIGNAL Staff

Railgun Blasts Away
The U.S. Navy has successfully test fired what it claims is the world’s most powerful electromagnetic railgun. The 10-megajoule weapon fired a test projectile at a target at the Naval Surface Warfare Center. A joule measures the work done by the force of one Newton acting on an object to move it a distance of one meter in the direction the force is applied. The goal of the Navy’s program is to develop a larger 32-megajoule railgun that will serve as a testbed for a 64-megajoule weapon envisioned for the service’s next-generation warships. A 64-megajoule railgun would be capable of firing a projectile more than 250 miles and hitting a target at speeds up to Mach 5.

DHS Offers Billions in Grant Money
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has released application guidance for 14 federal grant programs worth more than $3 billion. The purpose of the funds is to strengthen prevention, protection, response and recovery capabilities at all levels of government with an emphasis on improving preparedness and countering the threat of improvised explosive devices. Infrastructure Protection Program applications are due March 17, 2008, and Homeland Security Grant Program applications are due May 1, 2008.

AFCEA Solutions Series Blazes New E-Trails

February 15, 2008
SIGNAL Staff

Web 2.0 technologies broaden participation in association’s first of four events of its new conference series.

Passing the Torch: MILCOM 2008

February 15, 2008
SIGNAL Staff

 

Members of Harris Corporation, MILCOM 2007 host, met with personnel from Raytheon Company in January at Harris' offices to discuss lessons learned. Raytheon is the MILCOM 2008 host. After exchanging ideas and strategies, Bob Wynn (front, r), Harris Corporation, MILCOM 2007 vice chair, presented a symbolic MILCOM memento to Robert Galligani (front, l), Raytheon, MILCOM 2008 executive director, while Becky Nolan (front, c), AFCEA executive vice president, and the Harris and Raytheon teams looked on. MILCOM 2008 will take place November 17-19 in San Diego.

Community of Practice Program Offers Sailors Training Insight

February 15, 2008
by Amber Corrin

The Department of the Navy Chief Information Office used AFCEA’s West 2008 conference in San Diego as the platform to recognize a program key to supporting the joint mission in the Global War on Terrorism. The Knowledge Management (KM) Team of the Naval Personnel Development Command (NPDC) and the Support Team from the Navy Individual Augmentee Combat Training Center (NIACT) received the Department of the Navy Information Technology/Information Management Excellence Award for their combined efforts in establishing a comprehensive online community for sailors training to assist in U.S. Army missions.

The two teams collaborated in creating the Individual Augmentee Community of Practice (IA COP) on Navy Knowledge Online (NKO), designed to facilitate information sharing between troops and forces in training and deployment. “The COP was created to address the inconsistencies with the flow of information. Sailors are being asked to take on completely unfamiliar duties in dangerous places, and the last thing we want is for them to go in unprepared and uninformed,” said Tony Martin, an NPDC KM team member who contributed to the project.

The teams aimed to clarify the often confusing and complicated processes involved in joint force training through personal observation, meetings and one-on-one interviews. In addition, those who have been through the training are able to communicate with prospective soldiers and share their own insight and experience to help sailors prepare for deployments and training and to ease their anxiety. The forum is designed to include destination information, key points of contact, maps, requirements and checklists. In addition, it provides a discussion forum for deploying and deployed sailors to share unclassified information.

Center Builds Robots With More Bang for the Buck

February 15, 2008
by Rita Boland

Organization focuses on building and testing prototypes quickly and including program sponsors earlier in the process.

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