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2009 02 SIGNAL Connections

Contracts are on the move

SIGNAL Staff

 

For the latest in contract announcements, visit SIGNAL Magazine's official blog, SIGNAL Scape.

Submit information about contract awards to signalnews@afcea.org.

Out of the Laboratories and Into the Seas

February 17, 2009
SIGNAL Staff

Any leader in any of the military services will declare that support to the warfighter in ongoing operations is the top priority. For service laboratories and system integrators, support to the warfighter centers on developing and deploying new technologies as quickly as possible.

It is no surprise that these technologies are changing the way war is fought. Most changes in warfare have been technology-driven. But in this post-Cold-War environment, technology change is a two-way street. Technology both is changing warfighting and is being changed by it.

Again, this concept is not new. What is new is the pace of change taking place in both directions of the defense technology flow. Warfighters’ requests for new capabilities are being met in record time as the military speeds new technologies into the field. Similarly, the field is changing almost as quickly as new solutions hit the battlespace. These changes are driving the need for new technology-driven capabilities.

Take networking as an example. Much of the focus has been on extending the network down to the warfighter. The nature of counter-insurgency urban operations has increased the need for the warfighter to have top-notch situational awareness. But as more capabilities enter the network, it increases the requirements for moving information down that network. And, new sources of information—sensor platforms such as unmanned aerial vehicles—are being incorporated into the force. These in turn are changing the very nature of the network, which affects how information moves down to the warfighter.

News Briefs

U.S. Defense Department Outlines Roles

The U.S. Defense Department has released its 2009 Quadrennial Roles and Missions Review (QRM) Report to Congress, including the department’s core missions and competencies. Core mission areas include homeland defense and civilian support; deterrence operations; major combat operations; irregular warfare; military support to stabilization, security, transition and reconstruction operations; and the military’s contribution to collaborative security. Among the core capabilities identified are command and control; battlespace awareness; network centricity; force support; and corporate management and support. This is the first review conducted with the intent of establishing a framework for analyzing roles and missions every four years.

Navy Demonstrates Command and Control System

News Briefs

February 17, 2009
SIGNAL Staff

U.S. Defense Department Outlines Roles

The U.S. Defense Department has released its 2009 Quadrennial Roles and Missions Review (QRM) Report to Congress, including the department’s core missions and competencies. Core mission areas include homeland defense and civilian support; deterrence operations; major combat operations; irregular warfare; military support to stabilization, security, transition and reconstruction operations; and the military’s contribution to collaborative security. Among the core capabilities identified are command and control; battlespace awareness; network centricity; force support; and corporate management and support. This is the first review conducted with the intent of establishing a framework for analyzing roles and missions every four years.

Navy Demonstrates Command and Control System

Government Works to Stop Actual Bad Guys in Virtual World

February 17, 2009
by Rita Boland

The dark-hearted members of the human race have found ways to exploit innovations for their own selfish means throughout time. Now, with the ever-growing global dependence on computer networks, criminals are finding new ways to disrupt lives in the real world through enterprise in the cyber one. The U.S. Department of Justice and its allies have adapted their methods and techniques over the past decade and continue to adjust to prevent the morphing illegal activities in cyberspace.

During the past 10 years, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has seen changes in intrusions and cybercases, from the crimes themselves to the types of criminals carrying out the illegal actions. Previously, most computer crimes were perpetrated by lone-wolf hackers, acting independently, often for fame, publicity or the thrill. Today, cybercrime has become more organized, with financial gain serving as the main motive. Attacks often are aimed at financial institutions or designed for identity theft. And instead of some solitary computer geek giggling away as he hacks into networks from his basement, groups of people are now coming together, sometimes in tight organizations and sometimes in more loosely knit associations, to achieve financial ends.

Though the DOJ has seen instances where organized crime uses the Internet to handle some of its activities, most of the online organizations the department battles lack a hierarchy. Instead, people use social networking tools such as instant messenger, forums and e-mail to connect and work together in groups. They buy information so people in different countries or across one nation can work together to perpetrate a crime.

Innovations Will Rock Commercial Sector

February 17, 2009
by Maryann Lawlor

Businesses, be aware and prepare. The latest wave of digital disruptions is rolling in, and future success depends on being ready for them and their effects. A comprehensive yearlong study reveals that, in the next three to five years, emerging technologies will reshape industry and initiate new business models.

Between now and then, however, the state of the commercial sector can best be described as chaotic, a condition that could last as long as a decade, experts say. Both traditional business models and their replacements remain on shaky ground, and the effects from the creation of a stunning capability, such as the perfection of quantum computing, quickly give rise to both opportunities and obstacles.

After months of investigation, a team of researchers led by Alex Fuss arrived at a list of seven digital disruptions that are likely to affect companies in the future. The chief technology officer for the financial services sector of Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), Fuss offers that businesses may be caught off balance by the digital revolution now taking place.

New Products

February 17, 2009
SIGNAL Staff

Vehicle-mounted Computer

 
Warfighters and first responders need specialized equipment to maintain communications and manage sensor data in challenging environments. The Vehicle Mount Tracer PC is a rugged computer and monitor designed to resist heat and vibration common to vehicle interiors. The device features a 12.1-inch monitor, a fanless heat dissipation system and a fully sealed chassis that is resistant to liquids and other contaminants. For more information, contact www.devlin.co.uk.

Digital Torquemeter
Key vehicle components such as drive and propeller shafts require specialized sensors. The MCRT 86000V and 87000V family of torquemeters are designed to measure torque in diesel and other propulsion systems. The devices also are resistant to electromagnetic interference from other nearby systems. For more information, contact www.himmelstein.com.

Amateur Radio Community Experts Crucial to Emergency Communications

February 17, 2009
by David J. Trachtenberg

A system that was used in the past primarily to support military morale has been fulfilling a new mission: emergency preparedness. For the past several years, the Military Affiliate Radio System (MARS) has been called upon during times of crisis, including the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and natural disasters, to ensure continuity of communications. The program trains a cadre of licensed amateur radio operators to understand and become proficient in emergency military communications protocol and procedures, including the use of modern digital technologies. However, this national communications treasure could falter if it does not receive adequate attention and funding.

Started as the U.S. Army Amateur Radio System in 1925 by members of the U.S. Army Signal Corps, MARS was officially established in 1948 with U.S. Air Force participation, and it became a joint service program in 1962 with the inclusion of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. Many veterans recall MARS from the Korean and Vietnam wars as a group of volunteer amateur radio operators who relayed telephone patches and morale messages between service personnel stationed abroad and their families at home. Even as recently as operation Desert Storm, thousands of messages were relayed. Today, as a U.S. Defense Department-sponsored program managed separately by the services, MARS can provide an emergency adjunct to normal communications locally, nationally or internationally.

Navy Builds Future Network Environment

February 17, 2009
by Maryann Lawlor

The next generation of the U.S. Department of the Navy’s (DON’s) shore-based enterprise network is expected to employ both industry and government best practices. The DON will start with the Navy/Marine Corps Intranet (NMCI) as the foundation. As the largest corporate intranet of its kind, the department considers NMCI a strategic asset. However, it plans to increase the security and military command and control through the successor to the NMCI, the Next Generation Enterprise Network (NGEN).

The NGEN acquisition process is underway. NGEN stakeholders have been collaborating for the past two years to define requirements, develop concepts of operation, and prepare for the network, operational and work force changes that will drive the transition from the current network of 700,000 users in 360,000 seats to the NGEN environment. One of the key transition planning elements was the decision to use an open-standard information technology services management framework for NGEN. The DON will organize NGEN service responsibilities using the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) version 3 framework.

Bethesda Chapter's Young AFCEANs Develop Federal Web 2.0 Series

February 17, 2009
by Katie Packard

The Bethesda Chapter’s Young AFCEA Council is featuring an ongoing webinar series focusing on Web 2.0 technologies. The Virtual Podium series aims at illustrating through successful examples how Web 2.0 can benefit the federal government.

The series’ development originated last summer, when Steve Krauss, chapter president-elect, expressed an interest in using Web 2.0 tools to the chapter’s advantage. Beth Maloney, a Young AFCEA Council (YAC) program chair, and Tchad Moore, YAC secretary, responded by creating a Web 2.0 strategy for the chapter.

Simultaneously, the chapter’s YAC was planning its events for 2009 and wanted to begin the year with a panel discussing Web 2.0 capabilities. Maloney, Alison Hoover and Mari Oh, YAC program chairs, helped organize the chapter’s executive breakfast panel session, “Web 2.0 in the Federal Government,” in early January. The chapter co-sponsored the event.

“As we gathered speakers for the panel, we realized there are great stories to tell and speakers to feature. We didn’t want the conversation on Web 2.0 to stop with the breakfast event,” Maloney shares.

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