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News Briefs

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.

Send In Your Ideas for Open Government

February 22, 2010
By Katie Packard

President Obama's Open Government Initiative is underway, and the government wants to hear from you. What are your ideas on open government? Help the government draft open government plans by sharing your thoughts on how each agency can be more open and transparent.

U.S. Navy Establishes Cyber Fleet

January 29, 2010

Although the U.S. Navy has been in the cyber arena for many years, today the service officially moved into the operational cyber domain as Vice Adm. Barry McCullough, USN, took command of the U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. 10th Fleet.

Multiband Radios Make Their Debut

November 25, 2009
By Katie Packard

Beginning this month, 14 government agencies across the U.S. are part of a pilot program testing a new multiband radio that enables first responders to talk to each other across frequency bands.

Littoral Combat Ship Acquisition Strategy Shifts

September 17, 2009

The U.S. Navy will down select between the two littoral combat ship (LCS) designs it has been considering for the past several years. The service is cancelling the current LCS seaframe construction solicitation, and a new solicitation will be issued. The decision will be made in fiscal year 2010.

NATO Allied Command Transformation Welcomes New Leader

September 2, 2009

Gen. James N. Mattis, USMC, will step down as NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Transformation during a change-of-command ceremony on September 9. Taking over the reins is Gen. Stephane Abrial of the French air force. The ceremony will take place on the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower , Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia. Gen. Abrial is the former chief of staff of the French air force. This is the first time in the organization's 60-year history that a non-U.S. officer has been permanently assigned as one of NATO's two Supreme Allied Commanders. Gen. Mattis will remain as the commander, U.S. Joint Forces Command.

Gravely Sailors Assisting in Interoperability Assessment

August 19, 2009

The stars were in perfect alignment or it was the perfect storm of open schedules. Call it what you will, but when technology assessors and warfighters meet for one week in one place, the results are the same: a mutual learning experience that will benefit warfighters on the front lines.

Agencies Form Commercial Satellite Communications Services Pact

August 7, 2009

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) and the General Services Administration (GSA) have entered into a partnership to streamline acquisition of commercial satellite communications (SATCOM) services. Announced yesterday, the agreement will lead to a hybrid of GSA's multiple award schedules and indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (ID/IQ) contracts. Officials of both organizations are lauding this collaborative effort as "historic" and agree that the Future Commercial SATCOM Access contract will be worth $5 billion over a 10-year period.

Disaster Recovery Exercise Covers the Bases

July 17, 2009

A major disaster recovery exercise is concluding today in Washington D.C. The week long event was held by AT&T to test, evaluate, refine and improve how the company restores communications in the wake of a natural or manmade disaster. The network disaster recovery (NDR) exercise filled the capitol's Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium with equipment trailers and personnel providing satellite and broadband fiber optic communications links.

Held several times a year, this is the 54th and largest field NDR exercise conducted by AT&T, says Mark Francis, vice president of the company's Global Network Operations Center in Bedminster, New Jersey. The company gathered more than 45 disaster recovery trailers and vehicles, including 28 tractor trailers, two emergency communications vehicles, four hazmat trailers, one satellite cell on light truck (COLT), and five smaller utility and support trailers.

During a disaster recovery, Francis explains that the company's strategy is to set up equipment in a large open area such as a stadium. All of the equipment forms the core of an AT&T regional office. The trailers can replace the fiber optic backbone equipment in an office and replace the central network. He notes that one of the goals of this exercise was to test high speed optical transport equipment operating at 40 gigabytes per second. The event also sets up mobile cellular communications systems for first responders.

NSPS Review Group Announces Public Meetings

June 17, 2009

The Defense Business Board task group created to review the National Security Personnel System (NSPS) will hold public meetings next week at the Hyatt-Arlington in Arlington, Virginia. The group will invite experts who have testified before Congress on the NSPS to the first event and will listen to select members of the public for additional information about previously submitted written comments at the second. The public can attend and provide comments until June 26, but those received after June 18 (that's tomorrow!) may not arrive in time for consideration.

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