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SIGNAL Extras

Navy News on the Go

March 25, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

The U.S. Navy has launched a multiplatform mobile app to connect sailors and families with relevant and updated content.

Cyber Warrior Teams Vie for Big Win in CyberPatriot Bout

March 21, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

Middle and high school student teams from 14 states will gather next week for CyberPatriot, a culminating competition in which they will be tested defend computers against cyberattacks.

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. 

VIDEO: Should the Intelligence Community Embrace Big Data?

November 7, 2013
By Robert K. Ackerman

Big Data increasingly is viewed as the future of knowledge management, aided and abetted by the cloud. And, it would seem to be a perfect fit in the field of intelligence. But two longtime experts in intelligence take opposing views on the utility of big data for intelligence.

With Government Training Hamstrung by Sequestration, Alternatives Appear

May 3, 2013
By Beverly Cooper

Budget sequestration has made obtaining government-mandated training more difficult—this despite government requirements that individuals earn continuing education units (CEUs) and certification maintenance units (CMUs)”to keep current in their professions. Many of the opportunities in the past were centered around large-scale, efficient training that could certify more people by bringing groups together. However, travel restrictions have complicated this centralized collaboration.

Many organizations and defense-related associations now are providing the training and education needed in unique ways at low or no cost as part of their missions in support of military and government. By using local conference formats, they can deliver the content needed for CEUs, and industry and government are able to maintain the essential dialogue that eliminates waste and leads to relevant and needed services and programs.

For example, through the Engagement Theater concept at the upcoming AFCEA-USNI East: Joint Warfighting in Virginia Beach, May 14 to 16, individuals can hear from preferred providers and other subject matter experts on topics that qualify for CEUs. The Cyber Theater offers CompTIA CEUs through Cypherpath LLC. Several panels at the conference offer CEUs as well, including one at 10 a.m. on May 14 called, “A Contested Environment: How Do We Provide Effective Command and Control to Operators?” An individual can attend the panel and Engagement Theater without cost.

Nuclear Agency's Cloud Computing Plan Comes Together

March 20, 2013
By George I. Seffers

The U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) began working on its Yourcloud solution about two years ago and expects to have the cloud computing solution in place by year's end. You can read more about this in "U.S. Nuclear Agency Enhances Cybersecurity With Cloud Computing
." 

One of the surprises along the way to cloud was that NNSA is not alone in the problems it needs to solve, according to Travis Howerton, NNSA chief technology officer. "When we first started putting this together, I would have thought that we were more unique than we are, but when I traveled around talking to other chief information officers and other leaders in government agencies, or even in the commercial sector, everybody's struggling with the same set of issues," Howerton observes. "In general, what surprised me is how much synergy there is in trying to solve this problem government-wide. We're happy to be part of that overall ecosystem and to share with others what we're doing that may be helpful."

Agency officials spent about a year developing a strategic plan for transformation, which includes three pillars: the NNSA Network Vision (2NV), which modernizes the current computing environment by providing a secure, mobile, agile and adaptive IT infrastructure that will allow the NNSA workforce to perform their duties from any device, anywhere, any time; the Joint Cybersecurity Coordination Center (JC3), which provides the agency a capability for understanding the health of the systems, data and network; and the Cyber Sciences Laboratory (CSL), which establishes a process through which theoretical research in IT and cybersecurity can be rapidly applied to operational computing environments.

 

 

Follow Military Olympians Throughout the Games

July 27, 2012
By Rachel Eisenhower

The world is buzzing about the Summer Olympics in London, and a new webpage from the American Forces Press Service is helping fans track some very special athletes. The Olympic report features profiles, articles and images of service members competing in the games.

The Honor Flight of May 23, 2012

June 12, 2012
By H. Mosher

Every day at airports around the country airplanes land and take off with a rhythm and flow we don't really appreciate until--usually--something disrupts it. But this past May, one blogger witnessed an impromptu reception for World War II veterans that encapsulates what honor really looks like.

U.S. Navy Releases NGEN RFP

May 9, 2012
By Robert K. Ackerman

After several months of drafts and comments, the U.S. Navy now has released the request for proposal (RFP) for its Next Generation Enterprise Network, or NGEN. The 1,100-page RFP provides guidance for prospective bidders on a contract that likely will total 4.5 billion dollars.

Capt. Shawn P. Hendricks, USN, is the program manager for PMW-205 Naval Enterprise Networks. He says that the RFP's size is what makes it stand out among other RFPs. "It's enormous," he states, "and they [bidders] will have to eat it one bite at a time. Yet, at the end of the day, it all has to work together."

The captain adds that hardware and software costs ultimately will constitute only about one-third of the contract. The other two-thirds will involve personnel, and this may put pressure on industry to keep personnel costs down "in a technically acceptable way," he says. The NGEN program would comprise a conglomerate of many disparate networks serving Navy and Marine Corps personnel (SIGNAL Magazine, December 2011, page 18).

Unlike its predecessor, the Navy-Marine Corps Intranet (NMCI)-which took the form of a service provided by a contractor-NGEN will be controlled by the government.

The RFP originally was expected to be issued in December 2011, but officials delayed its release to seek further comments from industry on two important sections. The penultimate draft RFP was issued this past March; and the program management office received more than 170 comments from industry in the ensuing 10 days. After reviewing those comments and incorporating changes where appropriate, the RFP was designated for release on May 9, 2012.

Industry now has until July 18 to respond. The contract is expected to be awarded in February 2013. Click here for the NGEN RFP. The RFP number is N00039-12-R-0009.

Greater Network Complexity Is Making Cybersecurity More Daunting

May 4, 2012
By Henry Kenyon

Better networks mean more opportunities for cyber marauders--and greater difficulty for network defense experts, noted Lt. Gen. Robert Schmidle, USMC, the deputy commander of the U.S. Cyber Command. He cited knowledge about network health, adversary space and "the gray area in between" as the criteria for successful cyber situational awareness, but he also warned of personnel structure shortcomings.

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