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Modeling and Simulation Can Ease Budget Crunch

February 28, 2013
George I. Seffers

As the U.S. government wrestles with its myriad budgetary woes, training, modeling and simulation can provide substantial savings in a variety of ways, according to officials speaking on the Training, Modeling and Simulation panel at the AFCEA Homeland Security Conference in Washington, D.C.

“With the economic turmoil that we find ourselves in today, where we have to simultaneously reduce costs while protecting the homeland, I believe we are now in a period where modeling and simulation and virtual reality methodologies are not really an aid to live training, they are indispensable,” said Sandy Peavy, chief information officer, Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, Homeland Security Department (DHS).

Peavy reported that her organization is using a modified version of a U.S. Army-developed virtual reality hologram. Since the Army already had invested heavily in the system, the DHS was able to modify it for a modest $1 million, and now the Army is integrating some of the DHS modifications into its own system.

Additionally, David Boyd, who leads the DHS Office of Interoperability and Compatibility, suggested that modeling and simulation can aid the development of FirstNet, a nationwide public safety broadband network that will cost an estimated $7 billion. “We look at modeling and simulation as a way to reduce costs and as a way to look at everything from network scenarios to communications the scenarios,” Boyd said.

He added that there are “a number of issues” with FirstNet, including the fact that it will use LTE protocols, which do not support mission critical voice capabilities and do not meet all of the needs of emergency responses. FirstNet will require the construction of additional towers, an immensely expensive task. “One of the things we have to be able to model is what happens when you overload [the system]. We don’t care what happens on a normal day. We care about what happens when a disaster occurs.”

Lockheed Martin to Provide C130J Trainer

February 22, 2013
George I. Seffers

 
Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training, Orlando, Fla., is being awarded a $20,560,000 contract modification for procurement of one C-130J weapon system trainer device for Air Mobility Command. The contracting activity is the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.

The Bottom Line: Fewer Conferences? So What?

February 15, 2013
By Maryann Lawlor

The cancellation of several military and government conferences is among the latest collateral damage of financial belt-tightening and looming additional defense budget cuts. But the real question is, “So what?” Read that question carefully. It does not mean, “What does it matter?” but rather “What do global security professionals do now to develop effective networks with the business sector?”

And, those are only two of the important questions raised by the reduction in the number of conferences during a time when cutting costs is crucial. Among the others are:

Professional Development Courses Announced

February 15, 2013

The AFCEA Professional Development Center course schedule for January 2013 to January 2014 is available for viewing and download. Many PDC courses qualify for continuing education units in support of CompTIA certifications: A+, Security+, Network+ and CompTIA Advanced Security Professional. Additional learning formats are now offered, including shorter more focused courses.

Northrop Grumman to Modernize U.S. Army Training Centers

January 11, 2013
George I. Seffers

 
The U.S. Army Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation has awarded Northrop Grumman Corporation, Herndon, Va., a six-year contract to modernize the existing instrumentation systems at the National Training and the Joint Readiness Training centers. Northrop Grumman will modernize the range data measurement system and observer controller communication system portions of the range communication system at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, Calif. The company also will modernize the observer controller communication system and range data measurement system at the Joint Readiness Training Center in Fort Polk, La.

CAE to Provide C-130B-H Simulator Training

January 4, 2013
George I. Seffers

 
CAE USA Inc., Tampa, Fla., is being awarded a $12,500,000 maximum ceiling, firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract for C-130B-H simulator training. The location of the performance is Tampa Bay, Fla. The contracting activity is the Air Education Training Command, Randolph Air Force Base, Texas. 

Korea Exercise Changes the Game

January 1, 2013
By Rita Boland

An unprecedented choice allows soldiers to use communications and intelligence assets in more meaningful ways.

Military operational decisions are moving further down the chain of the command, and a group of Stryker soldiers has taken a large step toward improving the training small units receive. Troops with this battalion had a chance to practice with capabilities never before available to them in an environment that simulates combat better than any facility they have at home. The results are new levels of preparation and confidence for whatever challenges they may be called on to handle next.

Home based in Hawaii, the 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division traveled to Korea to conduct the training event Wolfhound Maul. The unit is nicknamed the Wolfhounds. Contained within that effort was a smaller combined arms live fire exercise (CALFEX) that gave the unit’s three subordinate companies a chance to run full-spectrum operations with new assets in stressful surroundings. Maj. Christopher Choi, USA, operations officer for the battalion, says that as his team searched for the best resources to conduct the training it wanted to provide, it realized Korea offered benefits not available in Hawaii. After a careful cost-benefit analysis, decision makers chose to approve the travel to the Korean peninsula. Almost the entire battalion made the trip, with its companies experiencing the CALFEX training one at a time over a period of a month.

Meet Vince Patton, Ed.D., Vice President, Homeland Security Programs

December 17, 2012
By Rachel Eisenhower

After growing up as the fifth child out of 10, it comes as no surprise that Master Chief Petty Officer Vince Patton, USCG (Ret.), thrives as part of a team. He joined AFCEA International in 2011 and recently took the helm of the newly established Homeland Security Department. It’s the latest role in a career that has taken Patton across the globe, from Coast Guard cutters to classrooms and beyond.

Government Laboratories Offer Job Assistance

December 5, 2012

Sandia National Laboratories has created a hiring program that helps wounded warriors get into the work force and develop career-based skills and experience. Under the Wounded Warrior Working Group, Sandia hires qualified applicants for one to three years.

U.S. Defense Department Awards $750 Million in Intelligence Training Contracts

November 2, 2012
George I. Seffers

BAE Systems Information Solutions, McLean, Va.; Battelle Memorial Institute, Columbus, Ohio; Booz Allen & Hamilton, McLean, Va.; Cyberspace Solutions LLC Reston, Va; Intrepid Solutions Services Inc., Falls Church, Va.; Prescient Edge Corp., Falls Church, Va.; SAIC, McLean, Va.;  Six 3 Intelligence Solutions, McLean, Va.; and SRA Fairfax, Va., were awarded on Oct. 26, 2012. The award is a multiple-award, indefinite delivery indefinite quantity contract with a combined maximum ceiling of $750 million over a five-year period ending Nov. 30, 2017. The contract fulfills a full scope of intelligence training requirements. The contracting activity is the Virginia Contracting Activity.

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