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Association Feature

Experts Consider Data Collaboration Strategies

August 2007
By Henry S. Kenyon

Views about sharing and retaining classified and sensitive information are changing as the U.S. government pushes to become more network centric. A recent gathering of information technology professionals found that although many technical hurdles remain to providing enterprise-level services across large organizations, the primary challenge is cultural.

Marine General Seeks Technologies That Decrease Uncertainty of Warfare

June 21, 2007
by Maryann Lawlor

 

Lt. Gen. Keith J. Stalder, USMC, commanding general, II Marine Expeditionary Force, challenges industry to design devices that will lighten the warfighters’ load. Currently, Marines must carry more than 60 pounds of equipment in temperatures that can reach 120 degrees.

The final military speaker at the Transformation Warfare conference expressed an opinion about combat that was contrary to all of speakers who had come before him. In his presentation Thursday morning, Lt. Gen. Keith J. Stalder, USMC, commanding general, II Marine Expeditionary Force, said he is concerned that the U.S. military is allowing the current war to conclude that the character of combat has changed. “I don’t believe that is true at all,” he stated. The nature of warfare is fundamentally the same, and the end of major combat operations is nowhere in sight, he added.

“We need to be ready for a cross section of conflict that comprises chaos, friction and uncertainty,” the general said. One way to handle this is to push decision making to the lower echelon warfighters and allow them to act based on the information they receive from commanders through innovative technologies, he added.

Experts Discuss Transformation and Future Wars

June 20, 2007
By Maryann Lawlor

 

Gen. Ronald E. Keys, USAF, commander, Air Combat Command, explains how small steps can lead to big changes in the military.

Agile Enemies Require New Thinking

Gen. Ronald E. Keys, USAF, commander, Air Combat Command (ACC), led off Wednesday’s full day of Transformation Warfare activities. In his opinion, innovative technologies must earn their way onto the battlefield by proving their worth. For example, while many speculated that U.S. Air Force pilots hated unmanned aircraft, in reality the service just insisted that they improve conditions for the warfighter.

Some technologies that will have truly transformational effects on the battlefield are still out of reach, but others already in use in the commercial sector are both immediately available and what the general calls “game changing.” He pointed to chat rooms and text messaging as capabilities that are ubiquitous in the civilian world and now just as omnipresent in military command centers. However, commercial success alone does not necessarily prove military usefulness, Gen. Keys added, pointing to blogging and wikis as examples.

U.S. Military Reaches Transformational Crossroads

June 19, 2007
By Maryann Lawlor

 

Lt. Gen. John R. Wood, USA, deputy commander, U.S. Joint Forces Command, opens Transformation Warfare with a presentation about the challenges to transforming during wartime.

The pace of transformation must accelerate and the focus must shift if the U.S. military is to succeed against adversaries who adapt to new tactics as fast as the services deploy them. This was the assessment of Lt. Gen. John R. Wood, USA, deputy commander, U.S. Joint Forces Command, at AFCEA International’s newest venue for its summer conference and exposition, Transformation Warfare, titled “Reconstituting and Reinventing the Force.” The general was the opening speaker at the event, taking place this week at the Virginia BeachConvention Center.

Data Fusion Secures The Nation's Borders

May 2007
By Henry S. Kenyon and Maryann Lawlor

Information is a key weapon for combating an illusive and a decentralized enemy. By collecting, analyzing and sharing data among key organizations, the United States enhances its ability to outmaneuver and strike at its adversaries and to defend its shores against attack.

Allies Make Room at the Communications Table

May 2007
By Rita Boland

Interagency is the new joint. The U.S. military branches are shifting focus from developing methods for working with one another to determining the technologies and policies necessary to collaborate with other U.S. agencies and international partners. As warfare moves into the fourth generation, with an asymmetric, transnational enemy and battlefield, the need for better cooperation among allies and better understanding of a smart and technically savvy foe will be the keys to victory in a long war.

Innovative Approaches Key to Warfighting, Military Posture

April 2007
By Robert K. Ackerman and Beverly P. Mowery

Prevailing in Iraq and in the Global War on Terrorism dominates most military planning today, but other challenges loom on the horizon. One element linking all of these issues is the unconventional thinking it may take to maintain military supremacy and meet the difficulties confronting the Free World.

Core Backbone Key to Meeting Federal IPv6 Mandate

April 2007
By Beverly P. Mowery

The transition to Internet protocol version 6 (IPv6) is not about the protocol but what that protocol will enable. The first step is to have a core backbone in place, and from there, "things start getting exciting and interesting," relates Dr. John W. McManus, deputy chief information officer and chief technology officer, U.S. Commerce Department.

Nations Seek Ways to Operate in Concert

January 2007
By Henry S. Kenyon

As a multinational alliance, NATO requires a high degree of interoperability across all of its command, control, communications and computer systems to function effectively. This interoperability also is necessary at all command levels as the alliance concentrates on overseas missions.

Managing Risk In War and Peace

January 2007
By Henry S. Kenyon

Risk management is essential to successful business practices as well as to victorious military operations. Although danger is inherent in many of the duties of the armed forces, planning for operational contingencies can reduce the risks and save lives. Mitigating risk in a coalition environment is even more imperative as a variety of policies, equipment and training and security procedures complicates the scenarios that planners must consider.

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