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Commentary

Let's Bite the Bullet and Pay For Information Security

Auust 2002
By Vice Adm. Herbert A. Browne, USN (Ret.)

The challenge of providing secure information is not new. Since the early days of computer networking, we have been striving to ensure the sanctity of bits and bytes. As computer and communications technologies advanced exponentially, so did the security challenges facing our information community. Now, information systems are everywhere and have become essential elements in the daily operations of industry, civil government, the intelligence community and military forces.

Europe Adds a Continental Flavor to AFCEA Activities

September 2002
By Cdre. Robert Howell, RN (Ret.), AFCEA Europe General Manager

In a month when the focus of SIGNAL Magazine might reasonably be expected to cover the aftermath of September 11 one year later, it is an honor to be invited to provide a European introduction to coincide with TechNet Europe in Budapest on October 17 and 18. And that, surely, is an example of the continuing strength of AFCEA International. For while world events may have a significant impact on one particular country, the association can take a broad view and incorporate the outcome into its agenda for the future, but maintain continuity of progress and action to improve and strengthen its appeal and commitment to the membership.

Building a Commercial Trans-Atlantic Bridge

September 2004
By Vice Adm. Herbert A. Browne, USN (Ret.)

One year ago, I discussed the role that AFCEA International can play in supporting interoperability among coalition forces. Until recently, that interoperability drive largely has focused on ensuring that vital equipment is built to the same standards on both sides of the Atlantic. The primary hurdle to be overcome was incompatibility among different nations' information systems, and building new systems along the lines of common standards helped us move toward built-in interoperability.

It's Time to Aim Ahead of the Cyberspace Target

October 2002
By Vice Adm. Herbert A. Browne, USN (Ret.)

In the past year there has been spirited public debate about the future of the intelligence community. While this debate largely is rooted in the attacks of September 11, 2001, many of the issues currently being addressed go far beyond the war on terrorism. One of the central issues includes key aspects of the intelligence community's functions in an infocentric democracy that is transforming its military into a network-centric fighting force.

A Pacific Nation Fights a Global War

November 2002
By Vice Adm. Herbert A. Browne, USN (Ret.)

When U.S. trade and military alliances are mentioned, Europe usually is the first region that comes to mind. That continent has been a long-established trading partner, and the nations ringing the North Atlantic set the global standard for democratic capitalism in the post-World-War-II years. In foreign affairs, NATO stands tall with more than half a century of security and peacekeeping that defines it as the most successful alliance in history.

NMCI—No One Asked Me, But …

December 2002
By Vice Adm. Herbert A. Browne, USN (Ret.)

The U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps are in the midst of one of the greatest sea changes in history as they transform from platform-centric into a network-centric fighting force. Several steps will enable this long-term change, beginning with IT-21 and leading to FORCEnet. Right now, the step that is in the spotlight is the Navy/Marine Corps Intranet, or NMCI. It is one of the largest information technology contracts ever let by the government and, as with all major programs, NMCI is generating new challenges as its reach expands throughout the Navy and the Marine Corps.

Thanks for The First Year

January 2003
By Vice Adm. Herbert A. Browne, USN (Ret.)

My first year as your AFCEA International president was a "super-deluxe" experience. Although I tend to spend only a small part of my time reflecting on the past, I now look back on this past year with the same positive feeling that I have when I look ahead to the future. My heartfelt thanks go to all of you who have taken the time to support AFCEA by providing me with the necessary education to lead our association. I hope to build on that education as I work with the Board of Directors, the regional vice presidents and the chapters to improve the service that we provide as AFCEANs.

The Link Between AFCEA Chapters and Headquarters

February 2003
By Lt. Col. Eberhard A. Mueller-von der Bank, GEA (Ret.), Regional Vice President, Central European Region

SIGNAL's July issue featured a commentary by Michael J. Varner, president of the Rocky Mountain Chapter, about the value of the chapter organization. Next, AFCEA's regional organization merits examination. Ever since AFCEA assumed its current structure more than 20 years ago-still as a national organization-its regional vice presidents, or RVPs, were the coordinators between a group of chapters in a certain region and the staff of the association. RVPs, as the extended arms of the AFCEA chairman of the board and the president, always have performed functions in support of AFCEA headquarters, in support of the chapters and have been instrumental in facilitating exchanges of experiences with colleagues in other regions. They are appointed by the chairman of the board, subject to confirmation by the Executive Committee.

Battlefield Information Systems—Wake up and Smell the Coffee

March 2003
By Vice Adm. Herbert A. Browne, USN (Ret.)

If there is one issue that has been a common thread throughout the spread of military information systems over the past few decades, it is interoperability. What once was a nuisance quickly grew into a major challenge as we became more reliant on information technology to prevail in the way we fight. What once was a marginal issue grew to dominate command, control, communications, computers and intelligence (C4I) as a key requirement for all future systems. Yet, as interoperability continues to increase in importance, as a goal it remains stubbornly elusive.

TechNet International 2003 Is About Knowledge

April 2003
By Vice Adm. Herbert A. Browne, USN (Ret.)

With the capabilities of today's information technology systems, military, government and industry leaders are nearly overwhelmed with data. The desktop computer has become more than a machine: It's a window to and a connection with the world. Senior government decision makers increasingly are taking advantage of commercial tools, and transformation is the umbrella term used to describe how we are evolving from the industrial age to the information age. In the past, control belonged to the organization that massed forces; today, it belongs to the group that efficiently turns data into useful information.

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