October 2009

October 15, 2009
Katie Packard

Cloud computing can solve many problems that state and federal governments are experiencing with traditional network-based systems. Through its cost-effective, flexible options, cloud computing enables organizations to move the burden of network management from their own staff to a host environment.

October 13, 2009
Henry S. Kenyon

A new competition is opening up the process of developing and improving virtual training environments by streamlining the rules and requirements for participation. By reaching out to the global design and development community, the Federal Virtual World Challenge seeks innovative, outside-the-box ideas to provide the U.S. government with virtual training and analysis technologies.

October 2009

October is Cyber Awareness Month. This is an excellent effort to spread the word about cyber safety and reinforce the policies, procedures and best business practices that support sound information assurance (IA).

October 15, 2009
By Christopher J. Dorobek

If you think the health care debate has been controversial, just mention “pay-for-performance” in government circles. The government has made several attempts to develop a more modern pay system; a number of them have taken place in various agencies over the years. But there have been several big, high-profile pay-for-performance systems.

October 15, 2009
By Alan P. Balutis

Christopher J. Dorobek’s “Incoming” column focused on good leadership. I once was as misguided as Dorobek, but no more. I hope it is not too late to affect his thinking—and yours as well.

October 15, 2009
By Henry S. Kenyon

Modern communications and sensor systems have greatly increased the speed and effectiveness of maneuver warfare and have empowered units at the edge by providing them with greater situational awareness. But these benefits have a price—lack of interoperability caused by disparate equipment and vulnerability to external threats ranging from jamming to cyberattacks.

October 15, 2009
By Kent R. Schneider

This is a time when everyone needs to be part of the cyber debate. Our dependency on the cyber environment is greater than ever. Cyber is being recognized as a priority domain for warfare. U.S. capabilities and those of the nation’s allies are growing, but the threat is growing and becoming more sophisticated at an alarming rate.
Both state and non-state players are active in this domain. The new U.S. administration has put a very high priority on the cyber environment and on cyberwarfare and has commissioned a number of studies to determine the way ahead. But the path remains unclear for the United States and, certainly, as the country works with its coalition partners around the globe.

October 15, 2009
By Maj. Daniel Ward, USAF, Maj. Gabe Mounce, USAF, and Carol Scheina

The explosion of online social media is profoundly changing how people produce, consume and share information. Social media rapidly turns monologues into dialogues and broadcasts into conversations. The result is a rich environment in which ideas are shared, questions are answered and collaborative relationships flourish.

October 15, 2009
By Gen. James N. Mattis, USMC

Command and control is a subject that encompasses all military functions. No matter how brave soldiers are or how many billions of dollars are spent, command and control is essential in enabling the warfighter to execute commander’s intent.

October 15, 2009
By Maryann Lawlor

The burgeoning number of devices, wireless capabilities and social media sites is challenging one of the leading U.S. intelligence organization’s goals to provide the decisive advantage to outmaneuver adversaries in cyberspace. A large hurdle to overcome is the growing use of commercial technologies that often bring with them varying degrees of information security requirements.

October 15, 2009
By Robert K. Ackerman

The U.S. intelligence community is seeking to bring citizens into the homeland security quest through new efforts at tapping potential intelligence information from new sources. This thrust aims to provide mechanisms for collecting information that resides outside the realm of conventional sources.

October 15, 2009
By Henry S. Kenyon

An innovative flying laboratory collected and distributed data across a simulated battlefield network as part of a major U.S. Army communications and networking exercise held in August.

October 15, 2009
By Maryann Lawlor

The worst global economic recession since the Great Depression is causing repercussions far beyond home foreclosures, skyrocketing fuel prices and lost jobs. In the intelligence realm, analysts find themselves considering its ramifications on politics, governments and security. Even cyberspace, an environment that is tenuously secure at best, may be feeling the effects of a stagnant economy as organizations—both public and private—put off investments in both security upgrades and research.

October 15, 2009
By Maj. Vincent W. Lau, USAF, and David P. Martin

As the civilian sector moves toward available collaborative networking applications and technologies, U.S. Forces Korea finds itself on the crest of this wave and is transforming how it conducts business across the command. The results of this effort will enable the command to provide authoritative, far-reaching data while dramatically improving its decision-making capabilities both in peace and wartime.

October 15, 2009
By Henry S. Kenyon

The Royal Australian Navy is building its first warship designed around a state-of-the-art radar and battle management system that will allow the vessels to share critical information with allied ships. A key part of the system is a phased array radar capable of detecting and identifying airborne targets, from aircraft to incoming missiles, at long distances.

October 15, 2009
By Rita Boland

Even as the United States continues to lead a coalition of countries in the battle against terrorism in Southwest Asia, another effort quietly continues to root out evildoers in the southeast portion of the continent. But unlike their counterparts in the deserts and mountains, the troops fighting in the jungles have a secondary position to their country hosts. Also present is a strong focus on non-war activities such as medical care and capacity building that demonstrates to citizens the dedication of both their government and that of the United States to improve their lives. The result of all this work has been a decrease in terrorist activities as well as enhanced quality of life for people in the region.

October 15, 2009
By Maryann Lawlor

Complexity is at the core of nearly every mission for the U.S. Marines serving in the Asia-Pacific region. Even something as simple as the international dateline must be taken into account when the U.S. Marine Corps plans operations within its area of responsibility. From the communications perspective, the diversity of countries it interacts with poses significant challenges to its network operators and planners.