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June 2008

Organizations Can Seize Their Futures 500 Days at a Time

June 2008
By Lt. Gen. Harry D. Raduege Jr., USAF (Ret.)

Various mechanisms exist to achieve success, but the power and benefit of 500-day plans have been proven repeatedly. Organizations can use this approach to plan and quantitatively measure the success of transformational activities even during the most dynamic of times.

Having Joint Operations Begins at Home

June 2008
By Kent R. Schneider

In 1986, the Goldwater-Nichols Act mandated jointness in the Defense Department. This affected training, doctrine, personnel management and assignments, force structure and operations. Joint operations and a joint approach to command, control, communications, computers and intelligence (C4I) have become fundamental to the way we fight.

China Copies Russian Ship Technology For Use and Profit

June 2008
By James C. Bussert

China has been buying and adapting Russian naval technologies as it introduces new ships to the fleet in fits and starts. Instead of standardizing ship designs and deploying large numbers of similar ships to its emerging blue water fleet, the People’s Liberation Army Navy keeps introducing new types of guided missile destroyers largely in pairs. The answer to the question of why China produced only one or two of four recent new guided missile destroyer designs could be that China is trying to gain the capability of producing a 956-type ship so that no more expensive Russian imports would be needed.

Programmable System Guides Jet to New Heights

June 2008
By Henry S. Kenyon

The U.S. military’s newest combat aircraft, the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, is designed as a multirole platform capable of carrying out a range of missions for different services and foreign allies. Its brains are an advanced software programmable avionics package that can be rapidly reconfigured for new operations. The package manages the aircraft’s navigations, communications, electronic warfare, and identification friend or foe functions. Although it was developed for use in fighter aircraft, the electronics package can potentially be installed in a range of airborne and ground-based vehicles.

Web 2 the DANGER ZONE

June 2008
By Maryann Lawlor

Web 2.0 users beware: Social networking technologies may be fun and useful, but the one thing they are not is secure. For all the benefits it offers, the Web 2.0 world is still pretty rowdy, and the risk to enterprises is very serious. Experts warn that capabilities such as social networking and collaborative content sites are a wide-open window to hackers who are using their mega-networking appeal to spread malware and crack into systems. Unless organizations take precautions, not only do they put themselves at risk, but they also may inadvertently become members of a ring of thieves whose goal is to get their virtual hands on information, which equals riches.

When Faster Isn't Better

June 2008
By Rita Boland

Science fiction heroes zooming faster than the speed of light is the stuff of space-age movies, but slowing down or stopping light’s speed may prove more useful to the military and others. Scientists have found that changing the pace of light brings technologies that were once considered impossible closer to reality.

Tiny Tubes Trumpet New Possibilities

June 2008
By Henry S. Kenyon

Nanotechnology may soon provide warfighters with lightweight and powerful electronic equipment. Researchers have created a fully functional transistor radio made entirely of carbon nanotubes. This feat demonstrates that these microscopic structures can be used as high-speed transistors and radio system components that consume only a fraction of the power required by current equipment.

Sensor Technology Opens New Horizons

June 2008
By Henry S. Kenyon

In the future, there will be no place to hide from the U.S. military. Two prototype sensor technologies may soon allow warfighters to observe enemy units at great distances and to track their movement inside buildings and urban areas. These systems benefit from recent developments in optics, radar, algorithms and processing to pull images out of desert heat distortion or to create maps of entire neighborhoods rapidly, greatly increasing soldiers’ situational awareness.

Innovators Imagine Communications Far Down the Road

June 2008
By Rita Boland

The minds of the world who are creating the future’s communications technology already know what to expect in the next generation—tools that are smaller, more powerful and more flexible yet less expensive. These experimenters also know that current bandwidth problems have to be a focus area for future operations. Research and development is already underway on everything from nanomolecules to intercontinental systems that will incorporate those features that troops need most. At the same time, military members can expect brand new capabilities and better security as well.

Coming Soon to a Computer Near You

June 2008
By Maryann Lawlor

Sights, sounds and searches will undergo vast improvements for computer users in the coming years as researchers’ imaginations and know-how take flight and new capabilities hit the marketplace. Novel data visualization tools will enable users to create photo compilations that produce three-dimensional virtual tours of a location. Communications devices will be embedded with arrays of microphones and speakers that craft sound bubbles. And tomorrow’s versions of today’s word processing software will lend a techno-helping hand by automatically searching out previously composed materials and making them available at the click of a mouse. In fact, plans for new man-machine interfaces may make even the mouse-click itself obsolete.

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