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Defense

What Color Is Your Money?

February 1, 2013
By Lt. Ben Kohlmann, USN

The Defense Department has a spending problem and must be reined in. The solution, however, goes far beyond simplistic budget cutting efforts such as across-the-board sequestration. It involves a fundamental cultural shift from both our appropriators and our subordinate-level commanders.

The past 10 years have been a financial boon for the military. This was true even as the rest of the U.S. economy was beset by recession and increasing unemployment. In 2001, the Defense Department base budget was $290.5 billion (in fiscal year 2012 dollars). By 2011, this amount had risen to $526.1 billion, excluding the funding required to sustain the Iraq and Afghan wars.

Beyond the rapid increase in the overall budget, a more pervasive and concerning trend exists: the incredible waste and inefficiency brought by established interests more concerned with keeping the spigot of money flowing than with winning wars.

Part of this is because of the ease with which the military has received unfettered access to our nation’s treasure. Because it is politically unpatriotic to question the military—and by extension, the appropriations it requests—Congress has acquiesced in pouring money into anything earmarked defense. Ironically, many of the same politicians who decry throwing money at education to improve schools hardly bat an eye when doing the same for defense.

Additionally, the constancy and security of military funding psychologically insulates the recipients of such largess from the realities of a constrained resource environment. This can lead to indifference when managing resources, especially those funded by “other people’s money”—in this case, the U.S. taxpayer.

Joint Range Tailors Cyber Training to Warfighter Needs

February 1, 2013
By George I. Seffers

A cyberspace operations facility grows with the burgeoning mission.

The U.S. Defense Department’s network operations training and education capabilities must continually evolve in the ever-shifting cyber realm. To meet that need, one of the department’s premier cyber ranges harnesses the power of simulation to support a full array of training, education, certification and military exercises for the warfighters.

The Joint Cyberspace Operations Range (JCOR) provides cyberspace operators and others the ability to train in realistic environments. The operators gain hands-on experience in protecting, defending and fighting in the networked arena without impacting real-world operational networks.

The JCOR allows users to connect disparately located cyber training systems from different services or agencies. The level of connections can vary depending on the users’ needs. “There are different ways of interfacing or integrating. We’re able to do, in many cases, both interfacing and integrating,” says Thomas May, technical project lead for the U.S. Air Force’s Simulator Training and Exercise (SIMTEX) range, which is the Air Force portion of JCOR. “If need be, we have been able to take the assets that other capabilities can provide and integrate them together so that they are actually components of our network.”

Sensor, Listening
 Device Integration
 Provide Battlefield Intelligence Boon

February 1, 2013
By Clarence A. Robinson Jr.

Industry opens up an array of real-time imaging

Sweeping advances in sensor technologies are enabling wide-area airborne persistent surveillance on both manned and unmanned aircraft. Emerging sensor systems can provide high-resolution mosaic imagery for large swaths of the battlefield while focusing on individual objects.

These intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) sensor systems are winning their spurs on the battlefield in Afghanistan. They are meeting combat commanders’ urgent operational requirements to provide city-size area coverage. These sensors simultaneously can focus on and track individual vehicles and dismounted hostiles.

Sensor systems such as the Autonomous Real-Time Ground Ubiquitous Surveillance-Imaging System (ARGUS-IS) offer radical improvements for ISR. This sensor system was developed for special operations by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). BAE Systems provides the optics and processing technologies. Argus was envisioned to be mounted in a pod on the A-160 Hummingbird (SIGNAL Magazine, June 2007, page 43, “High Hover”) unmanned rotary wing aircraft headed for Afghanistan. However, an A-160 crash during trials prior to deployment is delaying the move.

Testing with the sensor pod mounted on a Sikorsky Blackhawk helicopter continues before combat deployment. This slight deployment delay also is enabling incorporating more recent advances in both sensor and processing technologies. ARGUS-IS also may be mounted on other unmanned aircraft, such as the MQ-9 Reaper, extending time on station. The camera is being considered for additional multiple wide-area persistent surveillance programs.

Multiple Firms Awarded C5ISR Contracts

February 1, 2013
George I. Seffers

 
Ace Info Solutions Inc., Reston, Va.; aVenture Technologies LLC, Vienna, Va.; Barling Bay LLC, North Charleston, S.C.; Centuria Corp., Reston, Va.; DKW Communications Inc., Washington. D.C.; Dynamic Network Enterprises, Stafford, Va.; ECSI International Inc., Clifton, N.J.; Imagine One StraCon Venture LLC, Fort Worth, Texas; Integrated Technology Solutions Group Joint Venture, Fairfax, Va.; Mandex Inc., Fairfax, Va.; Product Data Integration Technologies Inc., North Charleston, S.C.; Network Security Systems Plus Inc., Falls Church, Va.; and Sysorex Government Services Inc. Herndon, Va., are each being awarded an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity, cost-plus-fixed-fee, with provisions for fixed-price-incentive (firm target) and firm-fixed-price task orders, performance based contract for the procurement of business and force support services including the entire spectrum of non-inherently governmental services and solutions (equipment and services) associated with the full system lifecycle support including research, development, test, evaluation, production and fielding of sustainable, secure, survivable, and interoperable Command, Control, Communication, Computers, Combat Systems, Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (C5ISR), Information Operations, Enterprise Information Services and Space capabilities. The cumulative, estimated value of the base year is $49,918,000. These contracts include options, which if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of these contracts to an estimated $249,590,000. Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Atlantic, Charleston, S.C., is the contracting activity. 

Cyber, China Challenges Loom Large for U.S. Military

February 1, 2013
By Robert K. Ackerman

West 2013 Online Show Daily, Day 3

Quote of the Day: “Make no mistake: the PLAN is focused on war at sea and sinking an opposing fleet.”—Capt. Jim Fanell, USN, deputy chief of staff for intelligence and information operations, U.S. Pacific Fleet

Two separate issues, both on the rise, have become increasing concerns for U.S. military planners. The technology-oriented world of cyber and the geopolitical challenge of a growing Chinese military are dynamic issues that will be major focus points for the U.S. defense community in the foreseeable future.

Cyber security is becoming increasingly complex because of the plethora of new information technologies and capabilities entering the force. Security planners must strike a balance between effectively protecting these new information systems and imposing constraints that would wipe out most of the gains they offer.

China, the world’s rising economic power, is evolving into a military power with a reach that extends increasingly beyond its littoral waters. The U.S. strategic rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region is likely to enmesh U.S. military forces in local issues to a greater degree, and China’s steady growth in military strength will affect how international relations evolve in that vast region.

Exelis to Support Weather Satellite Follow-On

February 1, 2013
George I. Seffers

 
ITT Exelis Inc., Fort Wayne, Ind., is being awarded a $12,706,126 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for support to the Weather Satellite Follow-on Broad Agency Announcement. The contracting activity is the Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif.   

Exelis Awarded Systems Engineering and Sustainment Integration Contract

February 1, 2013
George I. Seffers

 
Exelis Systems Corp., Colorado Springs, Colo., is being awarded a $37,060,527 contract modification for Systems Engineering and Sustainment Integration (SENSOR) Sustainment. The contracting activity is the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Peterson Air Force Base, Colo.  

Lockheed to Provide GPS On-Orbit Support

February 1, 2013
George I. Seffers

 
Lockheed Martin Corp., Newton, Pa., is being awarded a $68,856,746 fixed-price, incentive-firm contract for Global Positioning Systems On-Orbit support. The contracting activity is the Space and Missile Systems Center, Peterson Air Force Base, Colo.  

U.S. Navy Slows NGEN Award

January 31, 2013

The U.S. Navy now plans to award the Next Generation Enterprise Network (NGEN) contract(s) for transport and enterprise services in May rather than on February 12, as originally planned, service officials announced The delay is due to the complexities of the NGEN requirements and the need to complete a thorough review of the bids, Navy officials say. The continuing resolution and possibility of sequestration have not impacted the NGEN contract(s) award schedule; however, it is unclear how they might impact the NGEN award schedule in the future, officials add.

 

Many Issues Cloud the Future for the Military

January 31, 2013
By Robert K. Ackerman

 

 

 

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