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Defense

China in Space

October 1, 2013
By Rita Boland

China’s activities in space have caught the attention of U.S. and other countries’ officials, altering how personnel must consider the domain. The importance of the area outside of Earth to military operations makes the location critical for any nation looking to put itself into a terrestrial position of power. During 2012, China conducted 18 space launches and upgraded various constellations for purposes such as communications and navigation. China’s recent expansion into the realm presents new concerns for civilian programs and defense assets there.

In the U.S. National Military Strategy, officials discuss their concern about China’s military modernization and assertiveness in space, also stating that the “enabling and warfighting domains of space and cyberspace are simultaneously more critical for our operations yet more vulnerable to malicious actions.” The United States has released several pieces of guidance on its approach to the domain such as the National Space Policy and the Defense Department’s National Security Space Strategy. The military defines the latter as a “pragmatic approach to maintain the advantages derived from space while confronting the challenges of an evolving space strategic environment. It is the first such strategy jointly signed by the Secretary of Defense and Director of National Intelligence.”
 

Unlike the 1960s-era space race when Soviets and Americans competed to be first, China approaches space with a different set of goals. Dean Cheng, a research fellow at the Heritage Foundation who focuses on Chinese political and social affairs, explains that the Sino perspective asks, “What do we want to do in space? What can space do for us?”

Updated Doctrine 
Addresses Contested Space Operations

October 1, 2013
By George I. Seffers

The U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff have updated doctrine for future warfighters to realign space situational awareness as the fifth mission area and to offer direction on operating in a contested or degraded space environment. The updated document will guide combatant commanders and other warfighters for years to come, influencing training, mission planning and global operations.

The importance of space operations is increasing because of the enabling capabilities provided to the joint force. Space-based enabling technologies are now vital to overall military mission accomplishment and provide advantages needed for success in all joint operations. Space assets provide a range of services, including global communications; positioning, navigation and timing; environmental monitoring; and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. Furthermore, space forces simultaneously support multiple users, which requires extensive coordination, planning and early identification of requirements and capabilities.

The Joint Chiefs update the various doctrinal documents roughly every two or three years. The space doctrine, Joint Publication 3-14 (JP 3-14), governs the activities and performance of the U.S. armed forces in joint operations and provides the doctrinal basis for interagency coordination and for U.S. military involvement in multinational operations. It also provides military guidance for the exercise of authority by combatant commanders and other joint force commanders and prescribes joint policy for operations, education and training. Additionally, JP 3-14 guides military leaders in planning operations.

Committed to Cloud Computing

October 1, 2013
By George I. Seffers

Recent insider security breaches have put increased scrutiny on the U.S. intelligence community’s cloud computing plans. But cloud computing initiatives remain unchanged as the technology is expected to enhance cybersecurity and provide analysts with easier ways to do their jobs in less time.

With cloud computing, reams of data reside in one location rather than in a variety of repositories. Combining data leads to greater efficiencies for intelligence analysts, but in the view of some, it also means greater vulnerabilities. “There’s a school of thought that says if you co-locate data, you actually expose more of it in case of an insider threat than if you keep it all in separate repositories by data type,” explains Lonny Anderson, National Security Agency (NSA) chief information officer. “The onus is on us to convince the rest of the community, the rest of the Defense Department, that we can secure their information in the cloud in a way that they simply can’t secure it today.”

Anderson acknowledges that the recent insider leaks have increased doubts within the intelligence community about cloud computing, but he expresses confidence that the agency and the intelligence community are on the right path. “I think everybody is a little more nervous and a little more security conscious.

“Everything we’ve learned so far of [NSA leaker Edward Snowden’s] activities has reinforced for us that the path we’re already on is the right path. The lesson we’ve learned is the need to share information but to share selectively, only with those with a need to know,” Anderson says. “The leaks actually reinforced the need to move to the cloud and move there more quickly.”

Two Firms to Support Airborne Sensors in Afghanistan

September 18, 2013
George I. Seffers

Science Applications International Corporation, McLean, Va., was awarded a $179,585,058 firm-fixed-price, non-option-eligible, non-multi-year contract in support of the Saturn Arch program and provides continued operations, sustainment and integration of aircraft platforms configured to host a suite of sensors deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (W58RGZ-13-C-0134). SRI International, Menlo Park, Calif., was awarded a $62,337,287 firm-fixed-price, non-option-eligible, non-multi-year contract in support of the Desert Owl program and provides continued operations, sustainment and integration of aircraft platforms configured to host a suite of sensors deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (W58RGZ-13-C-0135). These are hybrid contracts containing both fixed-price and cost-reimbursement line items. The U.S. Army Contracting Command - Redstone Arsenal (Aviation), Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity.

Corps of Engineers Awards $7 Billion Geothermal Energy Contract

September 18, 2013
George I. Seffers

New Generation Power Inc., Chicago, Ill., was awarded potential vendor indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, firm-fixed-price, non-option, non-multi-year contract with a cumulative maximum value of $7 billion. The government is awarding this contract for use in competing and awarding power purchase agreement (PPA) task orders. These PPAs will provide for the purchase of energy from renewable and alternative energy production facilities that are designed, financed, constructed, operated and maintained by private sector entities on private land or on installations under jurisdiction of the Department of Defense. These contracts are for the use of geothermal technology. All awarded technologies will share a total estimated value of $7 billion. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - Engineer Support Center, Huntsville, Ala., is the contracting activity (W912DY-13-D-0113).

Hydroid to Provide Unmanned Underwater Vehicles

September 18, 2013
George I. Seffers

Hydroid Inc, Pocasset, Mass., is being awarded a $36,323,734 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the procurement of unmanned underwater vehicles. The unmanned underwater vehicles provide the military force with very shallow water and shallow water mine countermeasures as well as underwater object localization tools. The Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division, Indian Head, Md., is the contracting activity (N00174-13-D-0005).

Insitu Awarded Two ScanEagle Support Contracts

September 18, 2013
George I. Seffers

Insitu Inc., Bingen, Wash., is being awarded $7,264,250 for firm-fixed-price delivery order #0016 against a previously issued basic ordering agreement (N00019-12-G-0008) for hardware repairs and modifications to previously procured ScanEagle Unmanned Air Systems (UAS) for the government of Poland under the foreign military sales program. This effort procures spares, operations and maintenance training, and technical UAS publications. The hardware includes air vehicles, their components, and improvements to the systems ancillary equipment, including ground control stations and launch and recovery equipment. The company also was awarded a $300 million firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (N00019-13-D-0016) for hardware and operational and maintenance services in support of the ScanEagle Unmanned Aerial Systems operated by the U.S. Special Operations Command. The hardware and services to be provided include replacement air vehicles, spare and consumable parts, and in-theatre field service representatives to supplement naval special warfare operators. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity for both awards.

Australia Firm to Demonstrate GPS Technology

September 13, 2018
George I. Seffers

The U.S. Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) has signed a Co-operative Research & Development Agreement (CRADA) with Locata Corporation, Canberra, Australia, to build and demonstrate new Locata technology for use in GPS receivers. The CRADA is specifically directed to evaluate Locata’s patented Vray switching antenna and new correlator technologies for multipath mitigation in position receivers that run at GPS frequencies. AFIT will first design and build a GPS-frequency multi-element switching antenna prototype that is based on Locata Vray patents. When built, AFIT intends to use their GPS receiver and this prototype Vray to physically demonstrate the feasibility of using Locata technology to improve GPS receiver performance.

Lockheed Martin to Continue NORAD Support

September 18, 2013
George I. Seffers

Lockheed Martin, Colorado Springs, Colo., has announced it will continue supporting the air, space defense and missile warning missions for the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) Cheyenne Mountain Complex under a $20 million contract modification to the Integrated Space Command and Control (ISC2) program. Under this option, awarded by the U.S. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC), Lockheed Martin will continue to sustain national defense missions at multiple locations worldwide. This is the second option exercised from the contract awarded in October 2012.

Ayak LLC to Replace and Install Electrical Distribution Components

September 18, 2013
George I. Seffers

Ayak LLC, Southport, N.C., was awarded a maximum $7,500,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, firm-fixed-price contract for repair, replacement and installation of various electrical distribution components. Work will include overhead, underground and facilities electrical distribution components. Electrical distribution includes all facility electrical distribution systems such as overhead and underground distribution lines from delivery points to all main service entrance demand meters at buildings, including substations and accessories along with secondary drops to the building service disconnect or first connection into a building's electrical system. The 628th Contracting Squadron located at Joint Base Charleston, S.C., is the contracting activity (FA4418-13-D-0009).

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