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U.S. Army Procures Tactical Mobile Smart Device Security

October 4, 2012
George I. Seffers

TT Government Solutions, Piscataway, N.J., was awarded a $7,048,800 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the development of security technologies designed to provide the soldier with a secure mobile smart device for tactical use. The U.S. Army Contracting Command, Fort Monmouth, N.J., is the contracting activity.

Memphis Firm to Provide UAV Training

October 4, 2012
George I. Seffers

Crew Training International Inc., Memphis, Tenn., is being awarded a $26,629,629 fixed price with cost-reimbursable line items for the MQ-1/MQ-9 contract aircrew training and courseware development for personnel is support of unmanned aircraft systems operations. The contracting activity is Air Combat Command, Langley Air Force Base, Va.

Exelis Counterdrug Surveillance Contract Modified

October 4, 2012
George I. Seffers

Exelis Systems Corp., Newport News, Va., is being awarded a $35,794,575 contract modification to provide air and surface surveillance capability in support of Department of Defense’s (DoD) Counterdrug Program and North American Aerospace Defense Command’s (NORAD) air sovereignty mission. The location of the performance is Yuma, Ariz.; Fort Huachuca, Ariz.; Deming, N.M.; Marfa, Texas; Eagle Pass, Texas; Rio Grande City, Texas; Cudjoe Key, Fla.; Lajas, Puerto Rico and Newport News, Va. The contracting activity is Air Combat Command, Langley Air Force Base, Va.

Raytheon Receives Sensor Netting System Production Funds

October 4, 2012
George I. Seffers

Raytheon Network Centric Systems, St. Petersburg, Fla., is being awarded a $20,334,000 not-to-exceed firm-fixed-price letter contract for Cooperative Engagement Capabilities (CEC) production during fiscal years 2012-2013. CEC is a sensor netting system that significantly improves battle force anti-air warfare capability by extracting and distributing sensor-derived information such that the superset of this data is available to all participating CEC units. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, DC, is the contracting activity.

Logos Awarded $111.8 Million for Kestrel Surveillance Systems

October 4, 2012
George I. Seffers

Logos Technologies, Fairfax, Va., has been awarded $111.8 million by U.S. Naval Air Systems Command to develop an additional 22 Kestrel wide-area persistent surveillance systems to support U.S. forces in the field. The NAVAIR contract calls for the delivery of 20 Kestrel systems and spares, as well as two units for testing and upgrading. In addition, Logos Technologies will provide operational, logistical and analytical support on Kestrel through 2013. With its 360-degree field of view, Kestrel allows operators to simultaneously track and record multiple targets in medium-resolution over many kilometers. Kestrel can also cue full motion video (FMV) sensors for higher resolution imaging. Designed for use on a tethered blimp, the Kestrel surveillance system can scan a city-sized area, both day and night. This provides a heightened level of security for troops at forward operating bases. At the same time, Kestrel can be programmed for autonomous monitoring.

Contractor Awarded $102 Million for Gray Eagle Support

October 4, 2012
George I. Seffers

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc., Poway, Calif., was awarded a $102,588,732 cost-plus-incentive-fee contract for the services in support of the Gray Eagle unmanned aircraft system. The U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity.

Mission-Focused and Effective Conferences Always in Demand

October 1, 2012
by Kent R. Schneider


Since the U.S. General Services Administration scandal over a training conference in Las Vegas, reinforced by concerns regarding two expensive Department of Veterans Affairs conferences, fear has spread across government and industry that government-related conferences are now a thing of the past. This is just not the case—nor should it be.

If government leaders make bad decisions with respect to conferences—or other areas within their job scope—they should be held accountable. Controls should be in place to minimize future abuses. Organizations that support government in conferences that recommend or support such abuses similarly should be penalized.

The May 11, 2012, memo from the Office of Management and Budget applying controls to travel and conferences clearly had two objectives. The first was to direct a management approval process for all federal agencies to ensure consistent review of proposed travel and conferences, along with adherence to policies. The second was to achieve spending reductions of 30 percent in travel and conference costs from fiscal year 2010 levels. Implementing guidance from federal agencies has reinforced these objectives, directing the leadership at every level to focus conferences on mission needs and to ensure government requirements are met at these conferences in a cost-effective way.

Global Positioning System
 Is a Single Point of Failure

October 1, 2012
By Capt. Charles A. Barton III, USAF

GPS vulnerabilities could be addressed with upgraded long-range navigation.

In an instant, one million people in Tel Aviv are vaporized. Hamas, the terrorist extremist group backed by Iran, has detonated a dirty bomb—a conventional explosive with radioactive material—and is attacking Israel with long-range rockets. Concurrently, the U.S. Air Force loses all communication with its Navigation System Timing and Ranging Global Positioning System satellites. Intelligence reports indicate that Iran has launched multiple antisatellite missiles that have destroyed several navigation satellites, effectively disabling the Global Positioning System.

This is a fictional scenario, but it may not be that far-fetched. The U.S. military must take into account the vulnerabilities of its Navigation System Timing and Ranging (NAVSTAR) Global Positioning System (GPS) and invest in a land-based system that provides the same capabilities.

Not Your 
Father's J-6

October 1, 2012
By Robert K. Ackerman

The newly reconstituted Joint Staff office is not just picking up where the previous version left off.

A U.S. Navy information systems technician troubleshoots network equipment onboard the USS Carl Vinson. Future U.S. military platforms may be designed with space designated for communications equipment, which would be incorporated after the platform rolls off the assembly line.

After a two-year organizational hiatus, the Joint Staff J-6 billet is back with a new focus on interoperability and enterprisewide networking capabilities. These new authorities come as the military seeks to exploit commercial mobile communications technologies to an increasing degree with results that could change the nature of defense networking as well as its procurement.

All of the issues that have defined defense information technology utilization—interoperability, security, rapid technology insertion—are part of the thrusts being launched by the new J-6. Even the very nature of requirements may change as industry adopts the new approaches being endorsed by the Joint Staff’s new information office.

“This is not the same J-6 that existed before,” declares Maj. Gen. Mark S. Bowman, USA, director of command, control, communications and computers (C4), J-6, and chief information officer (CIO), the Joint Staff. “It is very different.”

Better Visibility Across the Battlefield

October 1, 2012
By Rita Boland

The U.S. Army’s system for enabling shared situational awareness to track friends or foes at the lowest tactical levels is undergoing multiple capabilities upgrades intended to increase the value of the technology. Advances include the ability to handle more data traffic, as well as better encryption, more timely reporting of position and improved navigation.


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