November 2007

November 2007



A recent study showed that people have two great fears at work: failure and the boss.  That's no big surprise.  SPAN>It was that way in our parents' day.  The way they handled it was to think before they acted so that mistakes were reduced and the boss was kept happy. Now these classic fears have a new critical factor – time and how little of it there seems to be. SPAN>

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November 2007
By Rita Boland and Robert K. Ackerman

The U.S. Central Command is juggling new technologies with new missions amid joint and coalition environments as it fights adversaries that change tactics quicker than the command can upgrade equipment. Many of the command’s communication and information system requirements mirror those of other U.S. commands. However, the acid test of combat is highlighting capabilities and drawbacks of many new tactical systems in ways that could change long-range planning for defensewide communications.

November 2007
By Tim Albone

The Afghan army is transitioning to a system that will send and receive secure Internet protocol-based communications, a major step forward from its previous process of delivering written material via messenger.

November 2007
By Cmdr. Gregory E. Glaros, USN (Ret.)

Not long ago, network-centric warfare (NCW) theologians stated that the information advantage generated by information technology could provide a new competitive warfighting advantage on tomorrow’s battlefield. For the first time in the history of warfare, geographically dispersed forces would be completely networked and thus much more effective. Other terms soon followed to operationalize the theory, such as information/knowledge superiority and information dominance. These terms were operationally refreshing, philosophically mesmerizing and intellectually seductive.

November 2007
By Kent R. Schneider

In my commentary last month, I discussed information sharing, a topic that has reached virtually every organization in government and industry. This month I address command, control, communications, computers and intelligence (C4I) in the tactical environment. The two are closely related, as their symbiotic relationship virtually dictates that success in one is essential for success in the other.

November 2007
By Robert K. Ackerman

The transformed infocentric force can count on a future rich in enabling technologies but short on how to achieve common goals, according to many military and industry experts. New capabilities deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan are improving operations for U.S. forces there, but new challenges to interoperability are rising as commercial technologies increase their influence on military systems. And, neither industry nor the military can plot a clear course to achieving a fully network-centric force. Despite agreeing on goals, the two are far apart.

November 2007
By Maryann Lawlor

The U.S. Second Fleet is inviting industry to help the U.S. Navy take a giant leap in the evolution of standardization that will transform the service’s components from simply information sharers to the ultimate operational coordinators. Under the auspices of the U.S. Fleet Forces Command, a team at the Second Fleet is directing an initiative that moves the Navy from its current systems-centric environment to a service-oriented architecture. As a result, the service’s reach will extend past its traditional local grasp, and it will take its place as a central supporter of global objectives in an integrated fashion.

November 2007
By Henry S. Kenyon

Flying at very low altitudes at night or in bad weather entails a range of challenges not encountered in other types of military missions. Whether an operation involves a strike aircraft penetrating heavily defended national airspace or special operations forces covertly inserting personnel, these flights require highly capable radar equipment designed to guide pilots over and around terrain they cannot see. A new tactical radar system will help warfighters navigate safely through hostile terrain under a variety of atmospheric conditions.

November 2007
By Henry S. Kenyon

Uncertainty has challenged military operations since the days of the ancient Greeks. An experimental decision-making technology could help future commanders see through some of the fog of war by helping them plan operations, recognize when a plan is not working and develop alternatives to keep ahead of the enemy.

November 2007
By Maryann Lawlor

Boosting business by improving customer service requires a bit of digging, but the information gold mine already is in place. With the aid of a few algorithms, companies are excavating data to unearth insights about their customers that emerge when small particles of information are fused into a gold nugget.

November 2007
By Robert K. Ackerman

The U.S. Defense Department is wrestling with a multitude of issues to provide the right people with the means to access different forms of data. Complicating potential solutions is the fact that the types of potential users are as varied as the types of data, which makes access and verification exponentially difficult.

November 2007
By Rita Boland

The U.S. Air Force is preparing to release a new version of a system designed to improve the service’s interoperability with joint, allied and coalition command and control systems. For the Air Force to accomplish its mission and support joint and coalition operations, it needs to include the capabilities of the new version in a network-centric, information-sharing environment. The system will provide a consolidated environment for planners at all command levels to access and influence force projection data.

November 2007
By Henry S. Kenyon

The first phase of the U.S. Army’s ambitious modernization program is preparing to enter service. The multi-billion dollar effort seeks to transform the Army into a network-centric force with advanced vehicles and precision weapons. Initial low-rate production and operational testing of selected equipment and software are underway after years of development and cost issues.

November 2007
By Rita Boland

The U.S. Army has networked the battlefield, providing troops with the first digital systems they actually wear. Capabilities formerly reserved exclusively for use on vehicles are now available at the individual level, altering how warfighters manage combat operations. This cutting-edge technology improves situational awareness and interoperability as well as command and control.