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Improving Information Sharing and Interoperability

March 10, 2014
By George I. Seffers

Homeland Security Conference Show Daily, Day 1

Information sharing and interoperability have come a long way since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, but challenges still remain, agreed speakers and panelists on the first day of the AFCEA Homeland Security Conference in Washington, D.C.

Adm. Thad Allen, USCG, (Ret.), executive vice president of Booz Allen Hamilton and former commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, kicked off the discussion as the day’s keynote luncheon speaker. Adm. Allen cited the ever-growing complexity of the modern world as the major challenge for keeping the homeland secure. Whether the complexity of climate change creating havoc during Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy, the growing complexity of technology wielded by foes or the complications associated with governments working together, the world has grown increasingly convoluted, Adm. Allen illustrated.

“We have to start learning how to raise leaders, operate and be successful in environments that have greater degrees of complexity,” he said. He cited climate change as one example. “You could have a tornadic event 100 years ago in Kansas, and it might be a catastrophic event and result in a loss of life. But looking at the critical infrastructure and population density that we have right now, it certainly takes on a greater degree of complexity, and therefore, the consequences associated with it are more extreme,” the admiral offered. “We’re at a point in this world where there is no significant challenge or crisis that can be handled by one particular agency, one private sector company, one entity, one faith-based organization, because the complexity of these situations demands resources and performance that exceeds traditional boundaries.”

That places a huge premium on being able to “cooperate, collaborate and work in new methods to actually produce results," he said.

ESN to Support Communication Squadron

March 7, 2014

Engineering Services Network (ESN) Inc., Arlington, Va., recently that it has won a $700,000 contract to support the 99th Communication Squadron at Nellis Air Force Base, NV. The contract is being managed by the 38th Cyberspace Engineering Installation Group (38 CEIG) at Tinker Air Force Base, OK. Under the contract, ESN will support moving the 99th Communication Squadron into a new communications facility. The company will move all aspects of the Nellis AFN Network Control Center into a new building. In addition, ESN will provide a new design that uses state-of-the-art equipment and server virtualization to improve IT availability and response time to the personnel at Nellis AFB while reducing power requirements. 

Ramping Up the Cyber Criminal Hunt

March 1, 2014
By George I. Seffers

U.S. Secret Service officials are establishing two new cybercrime task forces—in Cincinnati and Denver—that will enhance the agency’s ability to detect and investigate information technology-related crimes, including credit card theft, attacks on the banking and finance infrastructure and identity fraud.

After Long Downturn, Hope Emerges for European Defense Sector

March 1, 2014
By Henry S. Kenyon

Europe’s defense markets have been contracting for the past decade because of the continent’s financial crisis and national priorities shifting away from military spending. But while fewer tanks and fighter jets are being acquired, money is being spent on modernizing computers and communications equipment—a trend that will continue into the foreseeable future, according to an industry analyst.

BAH to Support Naval Enterprise Networks Office

January 29, 2014

Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., McLean, Va., is being awarded $12,502,113 for task order NS27 under a previously awarded cost-plus-fixed-fee, six-month bridge contract (N00178-04-D-4024) for program management office support for the Program Executive Office Enterprise Information Systems, Naval Enterprise Networks (NEN) office. Services being acquired are program management, financial management and administrative services in support of the NEN program office. The Space and Naval Warfare System Command, San Diego, Calif., awarded the contract on behalf of its organizational partner, Program Executive Office Enterprise Information Systems, and is the contracting activity (N00039-14-C-0036).

Full Steam Ahead for Next-Generation Shipboard Network

February 1, 2014
By George I. Seffers

U.S. Navy officials expect to award a full-deployment contract for a new shipboard network this spring, and they plan to install the system on nine ships this year. The network provides commonality across the fleet, replacing multiple aging networks, improving interoperability and driving down costs. The Common Afloat Networks and Enterprise Services (CANES) program represents a new business model for delivering capability to the fleet, Navy officials say. The program consolidates five legacy networks into one, which enhances operational effectiveness and provides better quality of life for deployed sailors.

U.S. Pacific Fleet Looks to Operate at a Disadvantage

December 5, 2013
By Robert K. Ackerman

For years, the U.S. Navy built its force around the concept of network-centric operations. Now that it has some of the most advanced information technology capabilities in the military realm, the U.S. Pacific Fleet must re-learn how to operate without them in a disconnected, intermittent, low-bandwidth (DIL) environment.

Navy Communicators Look to Communities of Interest

December 5, 2013
By Robert K. Ackerman

With the new Joint Information Environment looming as the basis for networking across the force, planners must consider how to add coalition allies and nontraditional partners. Establishing communities of interest may be the answer.

Teamed Acquisition the Way Ahead for Defense Information Technology

December 5, 2013
By Robert K. Ackerman

Future defense information technology is likely to focus on a set of services instead of specific elements. Accordingly, bidders likely will consist of industry teams bringing diverse expertise to the acquisition table.

Cyberspace-Enabled Coalitions May Save Cyberspace

December 5, 2013
By Robert K. Ackerman

Cyber has provided the means for rapidly assembling and operating military coalitions in the post-Cold-War era. Now, the very nature of the domain may require coalitions to save it from a growing menu of threats. These threats can range from annoying hackers to organized crime to malicious nation-states and even geopolitical movements to restrict the flow of ideas. While the panoply of perils is diverse, the actions to defend against them may have to spring from the well of government and organizational cooperation.

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