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Team Signal and LandWarNet 2020

September 11, 2013
By Rita Boland

Network modernization is the key to the U.S. Army of the future, and soldiers already are reaping the benefits of updates to the LandWarNet (LWN). The chief information officer (CIO)/G-6 is leading a charge to improve infrastructure by replacing copper circuit switches with necessary state-of-the art technology. “That’s what we have to fix,” said Lt. Gen. Susan Lawrence, USA, the service’s CIO/G-6, during AFCEA International’s TechNet Augusta on Wednesday. Improvements at Fort Hood, for example, are going to increase bandwidth there by more than 1,000 times. Along the way, other efficiencies are realized. By turning off unused phones, the Army is saving $14 million a year.

Many alterations are under way to create LWN 2020. By moving to a capability-set solution, the Army will enjoy three key advantages over older, program-of-record approaches. They are: the ability to reprioritize what installations to modernize next based on pressing requirements; the ability to take advantage of the rapid pace of information technology advancements by buying fewer items more often; and saving money as prices drop for the same items over time. “With a program of record, you just buy,” Gen. Lawrence said. Already, the Army is using the capability set to modernize 12 of its installations.

The Shape of the Cyberforce

September 10, 2013
By Rita Boland

As cyber becomes increasingly important to military operations, the personnel necessary to success in the field are a major focus of attention. Senior noncommissioned officers from all four branches of the U.S. military and the Army National Guard sat on a panel to today discussing this issue during TechNet Augusta.
 
These leaders addressed the issue with training up cyberwarriors over a year or more, only to lose them quickly to other internal organizations or to the private sector. The Navy’s representative, Senior Petty Officer Nathan Maleu, said he is in favor of longer terms for sailors in the cyberfield and in fact would like to see that across the military as long as the term periods do not negatively impact careers. He also commented on group efforts stating “I’m really happy we’re standing up service cyber teams,” but he would like to see a more aggressive approach to standing up joint cyber teams. Air Force representative Master Sgt. Lonnie Becnel shared that the Air Force actively is working to extend tours. Another concern in his service is trying to find the people to become members of cyberteams. A lack of strong assessment tools makes it hard to know who really is qualified.
 
The Army National Guard is looking at how to recruit soldiers now and keep them through 2030 and beyond. The active Army and Marine Corps representatives expressed sentiments similar to their colleagues. However, Master Gunnery Sgt. Adam Bethard, USMC, noted that the Marine Corps has no  cyber career field. Rather, current career fields will receive more cybertraining. 

When 5th Graders Run the Army

September 10, 2013
By Rita Boland

The grade schoolers of today are the company and battalion commanders of tomorrow, and the U.S. Army already is preparing the network they will use. Lt. Gen. Keith Walker, USA, deputy commanding general, futures, and director, Army Capabilities Integration Center, talked about that technology during his luncheon address at TechNet Augusta this afternoon. Soldiers are examining what they will require in 2030 and beyond, decisions that will be important for determining where to invest science and technology dollars.
 
Gen. Walker said that for 12 years life for soldiers has been simple. They were going either to Iraq or Afghanistan, returning for about a year, then deploying again. In that time, personnel found a way to enable rapid acquisition that worked around traditional systems to send soldiers the resources they needed to succeed in the field. That knowledge will serve the Army as it moves into a situation of reduced resources. The Army’s situation includes a complex environment in which even identifying threats can be difficult. Additionally, conventional and special operations troops are now combined in unprecedented ways. “We can never go back,” Gen. Walker stated.
 
According to the Army’s official planning guidance, the service has many roles moving forward, ranging from defeat and deter to humanitarian assistance. The general says people are coming to soldiers and saying, “We need you to do everything.” He added, “When you think of it, historically this is what the Army has done for the nation.” To meet challenges, the Army must modernize its technology. “We’re living off our investments [during] the '90s in terms of the network,” Gen. Walker explained. To provide the nation what it needs, the service branch must upgrade. “What we have now is a network that works great if you’re a motorized ground unit in Afghanistan,” he said. 
 

General Dynamics to Provide Harrier II Computer FACE Lift.

September 9, 2013
George I. Seffers

 
 
General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, Fairfax, Va., was awarded a contract by the U.S. Navy to support the implementation of the Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE) application program interface onto a new Open Systems Processor card in the mission system computer for the AV-8B Harrier II jet. Under the $6.1 million 18-month contract, General Dynamics will upgrade the Harrier’s mission computers to provide a common operating environment that supports faster, less expensive integration of common applications. General Dynamics will configure the AV-8B’s mission system computers with a second, third-generation open systems processor. This configuration will include FACE software upgrades to host required navigation performance and area navigation applications, which are being integrated by the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Directorate. Once configured with the new open systems processor, General Dynamics will perform qualification testing of the mission computer hardware and core system software. The company also will provide technical support to the FACE implementation team, including the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Directorate.

Progeny Systems to Develop Net-Ready P-8A Architecture

September 9, 2013
George I. Seffers

 
Progeny Systems Corp., Manassas, Va., is being awarded a $8,257,426 cost-plus-fixed-fee Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase III contract under Topic N121-045, entitled “Maritime Airborne Service Oriented Architecture Integration.” The objective of this SBIR effort is to design and develop a maritime airborne service oriented engineering development model of the P-8A increment 3 architecture. This model is necessary to support the P-8A net ready and interoperability requirements which includes research and development for the source code and the Unified Modeling Language Model. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Lakehurst, N.J., is the contracting activity (N68335-13-G-0001).

Northrop Grumman’s BAMS-D Contract Modified

September 9, 2013
George I. Seffers

 
Northrop Grumman Corp., San Diego, Calif., is being awarded a not-to-exceed $9,981,663 modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-fixed-fee contract (N00019-12-C-0117) for additional operations and maintenance services in support of the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance - Demonstrator, Unmanned Aircraft System, also known as the Global Hawk Maritime - Demonstrator. The services include manpower to increase BAMS-D operational tempo from the current nine maritime intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions per month to a sustained level of 15 missions per month. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.
 

BAE Receives Advanced Warning Radar Funds

September 9, 2013
George I. Seffers

 
BAE Systems, Totowa, N.J., has been awarded a maximum $94,312,136 modification (P00056), to contract (SPM400-06-D-9405), adding two additional pricing periods for advanced radar warning receiver ship sets and line replaceable units. The sole-source contract is a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. Locations of performance are New Jersey, New York, and potentially Korea, Australia, Egypt, Norway, Poland, and Canada, with a Dec. 5, 2018 performance completion date. Using military service is the U.S. Air Force. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Aviation, Robins Air Force Base, Ga.

Learning Real-World Intelligence Analysis

September 6, 2013
George I. Seffers

Officials at Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama, are developing a program that allows students from any academic discipline to work closely with the U.S. intelligence community in a variety of actual national security-related problems. The university is on track to begin offering a minor in intelligence analysis in the relatively near future and a major in the next five years.

Implemented about a year ago, the program is described as a work in progress. In fact, it has not yet been officially named, but will likely be called the Intelligence Analysis Program. “The goal of the program is to train the future analysts for the intelligence community, the military and business. "What we are trying to do is to provide a learning environment in which students have to deal with real analytical problems,” reports Robert Norton, professor and director of the Open Source Intelligence Laboratory, Auburn University. “We’re not just using things like case studies. We’re actually working current problems. And we do so in an environment where they’re working under an operational tempo similar to what is experienced in the intelligence community.”

Future intelligence analysts learn how analytical products are put together, how data is validated and how to communicate findings in a timely manner. “What we say is that our students work on real problems with real customers. We are working with the intelligence community, we’re working with various combatant commands, and we’re working with various businesses,” Norton says.

L-3 to Provide Imaging Turrets to Danish Air Force

September 6, 2013
George I. Seffers

 
L-3 WESCAM recently announced that it has received an acquisition and sustainment contract from the Danish Defence Acquisition and Logistics Organization to provide a minimum of eight MX-15 electro-optical and infrared imaging systems to the Royal Danish Air Force’s EH101 aircraft. System deliveries are expected to be complete by 2014. 

Rockwell Collins to Develop Quantizer for DARPA

September 6, 2013
George I. Seffers

 
Rockwell Collins Inc., Cedar Rapids, Iowa, has been awarded a maximum $8,476,061 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the DISARMER research effort. This contract provides for development of a quantizer that realizes the full potential of a low-jitter photonic sample and holds in a direct conversion digital receiver based on a photonics-enabled, analog-to-digital converter with a 4-gigahertz IBW and greater than 10 effective number of bits for an undersampled 12-gigahertz signal. The contracting activity is the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Arlington, Va. (HR0011-13-C-0071)

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