Watching my Cousin Billy in my backyard lying in a hammock as I prepared for my 4th of July barbecue reminded me why protecting Data at the Rest (DAR) is so important. Data at rest is a lot like Billy. Most of the time it just sits around not doing much, but it will move and work if you prod it. But, it isn’t the lack of initiative that bothers me. It’s the potential for the loss of information that keeps me up at night.
As information systems have shifted from analog to digital and to Internet protocol, network operations (NetOps) increasingly has become the all-important central element of an evolving network-centric operations (NCO) ecosystem. Today, successful NetOps enables better decision-making, improved customer support and more effective business operations. It allows information access, sharing and collaboration among network users. But effective and efficient NetOps can only be achieved through a holistic management approach. Many organizations experience problems today by not addressing each of what I call the Five Pillars of Netcentricity.
Cultural changes in the U.S. Defense Department are bringing people out of their comfort zones and encouraging them to take advantage of technology opportunities happening around them. The movement toward a service-oriented world is challenging the systems mentality and is leading to a collaboration and information sharing environment that is more agile and responsive.
AFCEA was created in 1946 to promote an ethical dialogue between the defense community and industry in the wake of World War II. Over the decades, as the world has changed, so has AFCEA.
As a young pilot in the U.S. Navy, S. Daniel Johnson liked the thrill of taking off from and landing on aircraft carriers in the Mediterranean and the North Atlantic. And yet he knew in his heart he wanted something more out of life—an exciting career in business.
So when he shipped back to the United States in the early 1970s, Johnson enrolled in a master’s of business administration (MBA) program at The George Washington University in the nation’s capital. Earlier he graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, where the former high school athlete played shortstop on the academy’s baseball team.
A system that began as a handheld reference device has burgeoned into a full-service emergency response aid that soon will be able to deduce the nature of hazardous substances on site. Known as the Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders, or WISER, the system is capable of being installed in a personal digital assistant, a Windows Mobile device or a smart phone, and serves an individual responder without any reach-back or networking requirement.
Despite major efforts to make first responder communications interoperable across the United States, establishing and managing joint radio and data networks during a disaster or terrorist attack remain a challenge. The National Guard has recently deployed a national system designed to link its units with civilian state, local and federal agencies during an emergency. This capability uses Web-based tools, deployable communications packages, and national coordination centers to manage first responder interoperability during a crisis.
The United States’ emergency medical communications and computer networks are on life support. This is the conclusion of a recent report to Congress by a committee of experts from the telecommunications and emergency response industries. Although hospitals and first responders use many modern technologies, the document found that their communications systems are antiquated and unable to utilize the full advantages of modern network-centric information systems.
International forces in Iraq are helping build a government communications infrastructure that will enable services that citizens of many countries take for granted: agile security and emergency response forces. The goal is to embed transformational joint command, control, computers and communications capabilities within the Iraqi ministries of Defense and Interior and to support the country’s Counterterrorism Bureau so that Iraqi security self-management can be achieved in the near future.
A team of communications experts is laying the cornerstone now for the information technology future of Iraq. Led by members of the U.S. military, the group is helping the Iraqi government coordinate its plans for the infrastructure, services and governance structure it will need to connect with the rest of the world. The effort is viewed as key to rebuilding the country because of the effect that a well-founded information infrastructure can have on security, stability, health, education and business investment potential, as well as on the morale of the Iraqi people.
Modern information operations cover a range of capabilities from psychological tactics to cyber warfare. They are designed to provide U.S. warfighters with a crucial edge on the battlefield by preventing opposing forces from effectively gathering intelligence or coordinating attacks. Information warfare provides commanders with a flexible tool that can be used to subtly influence local opinion in an anti-insurgency campaign or cripple enemy communications in a major conflict.
The construction of a new building is expected to transform existing infrastructure into a cutting-edge facility that will solidify the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center as the electronic warfare center of excellence for the U.S. Air Force and the entire U.S. Defense Department. The building will stand in the middle of three already constructed structures and link them, offering a physical connectedness that is lacking among the experts working there. Officials associated with the effort anticipate increased collaboration as well as the ability to take on new and increased workload because of the extra space available.
The U.S. Air Force intends to ensure that American troops are not caught unawares by electronic threats. The service is creating a virtual environment that will identify and assess disruptive and other major change technologies that could affect the future battlefield. The experiments will keep the United States on the cutting edge of emerging capabilities and help guarantee battlefield dominance.
The fight against improvised explosive devices has shifted focus. In the early days of the Iraq War allied forces sought primarily to protect themselves from the blasts. Today, however, the counter-device effort now ranges from preventing detonation to breaking up terrorist networks that are responsible for the deployment and use of explosive weapons.