Defense Operations

May 6, 2015
By Sandra Jontz
An Intelsat EpicNG satellite. Rendering courtesy of Boeing

Years ago, commercial satellite providers successfully nudged their way into the military space domain. More than a decade later, some companies are gambling with technological improvements in hopes of retaining that hold on the lucrative market.

May 1, 2015
By Anneli Lambeth

Fiscal struggles persist as businesses and government agencies continue to be called upon to fulfill expanding mission requirements while confronted with ever-tightening budgets and diminishing resources.

May 1, 2015
By Robert K. Ackerman
An X-47B unmanned aircraft undergoes nighttime testing aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt. Better integration of platforms and sensors is one goal of the U.S. Navy’s Program Executive Office (PEO) for Unmanned Aviation and Strike Weapons.

The U.S. Navy’s Program Executive Office (PEO) for Unmanned Aviation and Strike Weapons is striving for better integration of sensors and weapon systems across the entire domain.

May 1, 2015
By George I. Seffers
As part of the Joint Information Environment (JIE), the Global Enterprise Operations Center will provide complete visibility of the enterprise network and will be used to conduct global cyber operations to support combatant commands.

A relatively small team within the U.S. Defense Department works long hours to accomplish something big—establishing a single network for all defense missions.

March 27, 2015
By Chris LaPoint

Just when you thought consolidation was a good thing. Guest blogger Chris LaPoint addresses the issue caused by consolidation of federal data centers and the added workload for administrators of the remaining centers who must manage the growing infrastructure—and all of the problems that brings—while still meeting service levels required by end users. 

March 23, 2015
By Maryann Lawlor
The WASUB team prepares for the Undersea Defence Technology 2015 competition.

A team of students from Delft University of Technology, Netherlands, will use this year's Undersea Defence Technology exhibition to present a revolutionary man-powered submarine. The group, known as WASUB, designed the craft to break the world speed record for a single-person propeller driven submarine. 

February 26, 2015
By Ed Bender
U.S. soldiers work on a Mission Event Synchronization List in the Joint Cyber Control Center during Operation Deuce Lightning in 2011.

Guest blogger Ed Bender from SolarWinds outlines the steps the U.S. Defense Department should take to secure and streamline information networks successfully toward the realization of the JIE. The department must strive for greater interoperability of NetOps and other IT management tools within the services.

February 12, 2015
By Robert K. Ackerman
(l-r) Gordon R. England, former secretary of the Navy; Ellen Lord, president and CEO, Textron Systems Corporation; and Jerry DeMuro, president and CEO, BAE Systems, discuss the challenges of defense information technology acquisition at West 2015.

Where sequestration had been the focal point of discussions only 24 hours earlier, Wednesday at West 2015 featured force modernization as its focal point. Military, civilian government and industry leaders discussed modernization plans as well as the ailing defense information technology acquisition architecture.

February 11, 2015
By Robert K. Ackerman

Information technology systems, elements and methodologies are becoming more of a factor in U.S. naval aviation. Virtual capabilities are supplanting physical training, and new architectures may allow faster incorporation of new technologies.

February 11, 2015
By Robert K. Ackerman
Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert O. Work describes the difficulties facing the U.S. military to the audience at West 2015 in San Diego.

Unlike other postwar cycles when the military downsized, the current environment is more dynamic and hostile than any other postwar period. So, the military does not have time to reset itself and adjust to a new mobilization.

February 9, 2015
By Sandra Jontz
DISA's photo illustration of its new online collaboration tool for secure web conferencing.

The Defense Information Systems Agency is rolling out a new open source collaboration service to facilitate secure Web-based conferencing and chats throughout the Defense Department, and is expecting to save millions of dollars over the legacy enterprise, officials say.

February 5, 2014
By Sandra Jontz
CNO Adm. Jonathan Greenert, USN, speaks at the Naval Future Force Science and Technology Expo in Washington, D.C. on February 4.

The technological lead the U.S. military has over its adversaries could be a fleeting one as repeated budgetary cuts have bled funding from research and development coffers while rivals grew their technology prowess, offers Adm. Jonathan Greenert, USN, the Navy’s top military officer.

March 1, 2015
By Robert K. Ackerman
Two U.S. Air Force space and cyber airmen work in the Global Strategic Warning and Space Surveillance Systems Center at Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, Colorado. The Air Force aims to change the nature of its cyber work force as it transitions deeper into the information age.

The U.S. Air Force is striving to become a multi-domain warfighting unit in the air, in space and in cyber, according to its chief information officer. However, attaining the same degree of supremacy in cyber that it currently enjoys in the air domain may prove a far more daunting task.

March 1, 2015
By George I. Seffers
U.S. Air Force aircraft of the 4th Fighter Wing fly over Kuwaiti oil fires set by the retreating Iraqi army during Operation Desert Storm in 1991. NATO air power has not been challenged in recent conflicts, but with resources and capabilities dwindling, NATO officials are sounding warning bells about the future.

In recent decades, air power has been NATO’s first, and sometimes only, military response to a threat. But tightened budgets and dwindling resources are placing air power in a death spiral driven by declining readiness, a shrinking force structure and an ever-smaller residual fighting capacity, say NATO’s foremost experts on air and space power.

January 30, 2015
By Sandra Jontz

Mark Orndorff, the mission assurance executive and program executive officer for mission assurance and network operations at the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), bids farewell to colleagues today as he retires.

January 28, 2015
By Ed Bender
In this file photo, Marines develop their private cloud, focusing on ensuring the right access for the right people.

With 2014 in the rearview mirror, federal agencies now are looking ahead to what the next year will bring. For information technology professionals working in the Defense Department and intelligence community, 2015 will be the year of the cloud, application stacks, security challenges and centralization.

January 15, 2015
By Ralph Wade

The changing nature of threats and diversity of adversaries bring unique challenges to maintaining a strong national security posture. In 2015, we will see nation-states, extremist groups and individuals bring a distinctive set of intelligence challenges to U.S. defense officials. By making the best use of ISR technological capabilities, coupled with innovative commercial information technology, we can equip our military leaders with an integrated ISR enterprise to evaluate and anticipate threats so they more fully and quickly understand proper courses of action, whether on a battlefield or at home.

January 14, 2015
By Sandra Jontz

The Twitter and YouTube accounts for U.S. Central Command are back online after hackers, stated to be in support of Islamic State militant group, broke into the accounts and posted menacing messages.

January 13, 2015

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is reorganizing to focus on five Cs: cyber, cloud, collaboration, and command and control, Lt. Gen. Ronnie D. Hawkins Jr., USAF, DISA director, announced Monday at a luncheon event hosted by AFCEA's Washington, D.C. Chapter.

February 1, 2015
By Lt. Gen. Robert M. Shea, USMC (Ret.)

After more than 13 years of continuous war, the U.S. military is entering a new era with a smaller force that faces new and expanding roles and challenges. As with all the services, the Navy’s and Marine Corps’ challenges are complicated by budget tightening amid an evolving and broadening security environment.