As with other maritime forces, China has been seeking to network disparate assets, and to meet that requirement, it has been establishing signal stations on islands and atolls throughout the South China Sea. These facilities, which range from communications relays to radar units, both demonstrate China's expanding regional reach and provide a rare glimpse of the country's military electronics technologies.
Mix advanced information technology, a rapidly increasing work force and a new architecture for sharing data and you have the recipe for transforming the military intelligence community, if the Defense Intelligence Agency has its way. Lessons learned in Afghanistan and Iraq have only reinforced the targets for change in defense intelligence collection, management and analysis.
The focus of long-term changes underway in China's military is on regional rather than global improvements. This approach includes deploying systems that have only a local reach as well as developing or acquiring advanced technologies for specific military units or elements.
The U.S. Army is looking to radically change the very concept of information management to meet its growing intelligence demands arising from force transformation. This will require a new way of processing and disseminating information in a network that links a rapidly growing number of increasingly diverse sensors and sources.
The U.S. intelligence community is in a race against international adversaries, and to win, it must link diverse data systems and information processes so that experts can learn enemy intentions and plans before disaster strikes. This race toward horizontal integration of intelligence has a two-pronged thrust that encompasses both data exchange at the collection level and information exchange at various levels of command and civil government decision making.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is opening the door to the private sector in its quest for innovative technologies to support ongoing operations and meet future requirements. Modeled after the U.S. Defense Department's primary research and development arm, the new department's parallel agency will be seeking solutions to challenges in the areas of biological and chemical agent detection, nuclear, radiological and high explosive attack deterrence, and information security.
When U.S. Pacific Command personnel move into their new headquarters building early next year, they will be doing more than just shifting operations to a different location. Featuring an architectural style that is harmonious with the surrounding Hawaiian landscape, the Nimitz-MacArthur Pacific Command Center will be filled with cutting-edge technology that will project the staff's virtual presence across the Asia-Pacific theater. It has been designed to support Joint Vision 2010 operational concepts.
A pair of large information technology firms are not satisfied with operating in more than 100 countries around the globe. They have now set their sights on Jupiter.
Unisys Corporation, Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, recently opened the Team Jupiter Lab to allow customers to test drive a new generation of e-business software developed by Microsoft Corporation, Redmond, Washington. The companies are partners in the facility at a Unisys technology campus near Microsoft's headquarters.
In the event of a major crisis or conflict in the Pacific theater, U.S. forces may have to rely on regional allies to respond quickly and effectively. Relationships between the United States and its allies are maintained through continuous exercises and training events emphasizing collaborative decision-making and command and control. The U.S. military enhances its situational awareness by being aware of the sensitivities, culture and history of nations' in this part of the world. This also serves to promote cooperation and coordination with local forces.
Bandwidth and interoperability concerns have forced the U.S. military in the Pacific theater to rely on flexible communications networks to maintain connectivity across the expansive region. Because of geographical constraints and limited infrastructure in many parts of the theater, the U.S. military transports and maintains agile satellite-based networks capable of operating with local coalition units.
The U.S. Defense Department is connecting key command, control and intelligence facilities around the world with a computer network capable of moving massive amounts of information. Designed to provide the bandwidth necessary to channel live video and sensor data from distant theaters back to commanders and analysts, the system will allow users to post and share documents in real time. This enhanced networking capability offers the military and intelligence communities a robust architecture for network-centric collaboration and decision making.
Everyone agrees that intelligence is at the top of the requirements list for the war on terrorism. And, many experts agree that technology derived from the commercial sector will complement human expertise in this vital endeavor. The time has come for both government and industry to stop thinking of the commercial sector as a vendor and embrace treating it as a partner with the intelligence community.