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SIGNAL Connections

Homefront Help

March 17, 2008

Homefront Help is SIGNAL Connections’ effort to support U.S. service members, veterans and their families. The column highlights programs that offer resources and assistance to the military community ranging from care packages to benefits and everything in between.

In that same spirit, Homefront Help presents opportunities for readers to donate time, offer resources and send words of thanks to those who sacrifice for freedom. Programs that provide services are listed in red. Opportunities for the public to reach out to service members are listed in blue. Each program description includes a link to the organization's Web site, when available.

The American Soldier Foundation
Driven by its motto “They fight for us—Let’s fight for them,” The American Soldier Foundation financially assists various members of the military community. Grants and interest-free loans are available to troops on extended active duty and their dependents; members of Reserve components on continuous active duty for more than 30 days and their dependents; military members retired from active duty because of longevity or physical disability, or retired upon reaching age 60 and their dependents; and widows, widowers and orphans of service members who died while on active duty or after retirement. The grants and loans are available for a variety of purposes, including everyday needs such as food, clothing, shelter and transportation; medical or funeral expenses; debt repayments; education; financial planning; fines and legal payments; and marriage counseling.


March 17, 2008

International Contracts

March 17, 2008

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

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

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

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


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.


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