A tactical technology support organization that has been serving the U.S. Marines for decades is beginning to find a role in the cyber domain. The group offers a broad range of services, including test and evaluation, engineering and network integration. It also supports users across the Defense Department, U.S. government and allies.
U.S. Marines are testing novel solutions to provide the necessary security and legal safeguards that will allow commercial, personally owned devices on their networks. If successful, the service could recognize a substantial monetary savings in mobile phone expenses and open the door to future cost decreases in other areas.
The U.S. Air Force Space Command is helping the service put its joint modernization plans into place. As the command responsible for handling cyberspace, communications and information missions, it is the Air Force’s instrument in meeting major Defense Department technology goals, such as establishing the Joint Information Environment.
Nuclear weapons are back in the news. Those concerned about the Middle East watched warily as the United States and others labored to rein in Iran’s budding nuclear ambitions. Interested citizens heard of low morale and troubling disciplinary issues afflicting our nuclear missile launch teams. On a somewhat lighter note, film fans marked 50 years since the premiere of Stanley Kubrick’s satiric gem, Dr. Strangelove or: How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. We sure do not love the bomb—we never did, really—but we also do not worry much about it these days. Perhaps we should.
The rise of new global flashpoints along with a strategic rebalancing are presenting the U.S. Navy with a new set of challenges and obligations concurrent with significant force reductions. The sum of the budget cuts would be enough to tax the service under any circumstances, but they are being implemented against a backdrop of a broader mission set and increased activities by potential foes.
To address a changing mission amid broader challenges, the U.S. Marines are implementing the service’s future warfighting strategy this year through training, war gaming and experimentation. The strategy calls for forces to be dispersed over wide areas and will require technologies that enhance warfighters’ effectiveness over greater distances.
Over the past decade, I have participated nearly each year in the Association of the U.S. Army Industry Day at the United States Army War College. In the afternoon, an industry representative spends about three hours in each student seminar of about 20 officers. I have always participated in this seminar portion. One item that has emerged over the years in these meetings is that many who spend their professional careers in the public sector have an uncomfortable sentiment about the concept of profit.
Researchers working on behalf of the U.S. intelligence agencies can use reams of open source, anonymous data to foretell social turmoil such as disease outbreaks or international political unrest. Once fully developed, the capability to predict coming events may allow U.S. officials to more effectively respond to public health threats; to improve embassy security before an imminent attack; or to more quickly and effectively respond to humanitarian crises.
Warfighters on foot equipped with night vision systems now can give their commanders a real-time glimpse of what they’re seeing in the field. A new system that combines a portable radio with night vision goggles allows the optical imagery to be captured and sent across the same radio channels used for voice and data communications.
The U.S. Marine Corps has combined two signals intelligence programs as part of its efforts to drive efficiency and enhance expeditionary operations. Streamlining activities for manpackable and vehicle-borne versions of similar capabilities increases both flexibility and redundancy in the field for the users.
Exelis Inc., Clifton, N.J., has been awarded a not-to-exceed $75,281,878 firm-fixed-price, time and material, undefinitized contract award for ALQ-211(V)-9 Advanced Integrated Defensive Electronic Warfare System (AIDEWS) pod acquisition. The contractor will provide 21 ALQ-211(V)-9 AIDEWS pods, associated support services, support equipment, countermeasures dispensing system integration and spares in support of the Turkish Air Force F-16D Block 50 program. This award is the result of a source-directed, sole-source acquisition and is 100 percent foreign military sales for Turkey.
Leidos Inc., Reston, Va., was awarded a $9,791,760 modification (P00003) to cost-plus-fixed-fee, sole-source contract W91CRB-13-C-0016 for information technology support services for the maintenance of existing Army Enterprise Equipping System systems. U.S. Army Contracting Command-Aberdeen Div D, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., is the contracting activity.
The U.S. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center awarded Lockheed Martin a $9 million foreign military sales contract to support the Republic of Korea’s Peace Krypton reconnaissance aircraft system. The Peace Krypton system is used for tactical intelligence and is comprised of militarized business jets and ground stations that process data from the aircraft. Lockheed Martin’s sustainment work scope involves maintenance of the aircraft fleet, which includes spare and repair parts, as well as providing support and test equipment for both the aircraft and its fixed and mobile ground stations.
Northrop Grumman Space and Missions Systems, Colorado Springs, Colo. is being awarded A $750 million in-scope contract modification (P00023) to previously awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract to increase the estimated contract maximum from $2.5 billion to $3.25 billion. The contract remains a ten (10) year contract with an ordering period from Nov. 21, 2005 through Nov. 21, 2015.
DRS Technical Services Inc., Herndon, Va., was awarded a $30,271,266 hybrid firm-fixed price, cost-plus fixed-fee and cost reimbursable multi-year contract to operate control and maintain satellite communications between the continental United States and worldwide locations. It will also provide help desk and field operations support. Work will be performed in Rock Island, Ill., Afghanistan, Kuwait, and Germany. Army Contracting Command, Rock Island, Ill., is the contracting activity (W52P1J-14-C-0026).
Interstate Electronics Corp., Anaheim, Calif., is being awarded an $8,911,790 modification under previously awarded cost-plus-fixed-fee, cost-plus-incentive-fee contract (N00030-14-C-0006) to exercise option line items for a new technology refresh of the C-Band Pulse Doppler Radar (RADAR-C) Transmitter and replacement of the Navy Mobile Instrumentation Ship Communication System in support of Trident II flight tests.
L-3 Communications Corp., Salt Lake City, Utah, has been awarded a $16,458,470 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract. The work will support the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Mobile Hotspots program for phases 2 and 3 (if option is exercised). If successful, the phase 2 effort is expected to deliver a solution consisting of radio and router pods for mounting on Shadow unmanned aerial vehicles, with all mobile hotspots subsystems wholly contained within the pods. The contracting activity is DARPA, Arlington, Va., (HR0011-14-C-0047).
Exelis Inc., Clifton, N.J., is being awarded a $91,701,414 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N00019-12-C-0002) to exercise an option for the manufacture and delivery of 42 AN/ALQ-214(V)4 on-board jammer (OBJ) systems. The AN/ALQ-214(V)4/5 is an OBJ component of the integrated defensive electronic counter measures system. It is a self-protection radio frequency (RF) countermeasures system used by Navy F/A-18C/D/E/F strike fighter aircraft against RF guided surface-to-air and air-to-air threats (missiles).
It is not surprising that cybersecurity would dominate the discussion on the second day of the AFCEA Homeland Security Conference in Washington, D.C. But the depth and breadth and variety of topics surrounding cybersecurity and information protection in all its forms indicates the degree to which the information security mission has engulfed every department and agency at all levels of government.
Chief information security officials from various agencies voiced support for the Department of Homeland Security's Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM) Program, which is designed to fortify computer networks across the federal government. The officials spoke out in support of the program while serving on a panel during the AFCEA Homeland Security Conference, Washington, D.C. Panel moderator John Streufert, director of Federal Network Resilience at the Department of Homeland Security, took the opportunity to put some rumors to rest.