Members of the U.S. Joint Forces Command’s Joint Enabling Capabilities (JEC) Command arrived home from Afghanistan and the first major operational use of the Ready JEC Package (RJP) just in time to join their families for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Some of the digital world’s most bitter rivals have joined forces with government and public-sector organizations to develop solutions for disaster relief. An inaugural meeting November 12-14 in Mountain View, California, already has generated some products, and the administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has lauded the effort and has pledged support.
The final day of TechNet Asia-Pacific 2009 featured two panels and two speakers looking at the way ahead.
Wednesday’s speakers and panelists at TechNet Asia-Pacific 2009 included assessments of needs and methods for information systems and cybersecurity.
The challenges of the Pacific region and cyberwarfare issues dominated discussion on the second day of TechNet Asia-Pacific 2009.
The opening session of TechNet Asia-Pacific 2009 was a four-hour acquisition seminar titled "Cyber Security—Its Acquisition and Environment."
Change is never easy, and that is particularly true in government. When it comes to collaboration, it is the intelligence community that has been evolving and testing its own boundaries.
A multitude of sentries stand between state-of-the-art solutions and warfighters’ hands. The acquisition bureaucracy has become so convoluted that even urgent need requests are feeling the effects. Debating the way around or right through the administrative sentinels that procurement professionals face in the government was the focus of AFCEA International’s SOLUTIONS Series event, “IT Acquisition: Shifting to a Modern Paradigm.” At the September event in Lansdowne, Virginia, identifying the problems was not a challenge; agreeing on the most expedient way to solve them was a little more difficult.
AFCEA increasingly is engaged in the effort to improve the acquisition process, particularly as it supports the command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) and information technology communities. The association addresses this critical topic in this edition of SIGNAL; it has supported some workshops to discuss specific aspects of the problem; and it has held two conferences in the past several months on acquisition.
The threat to cyberspace now rivals that of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. That is the message in the latest effort to rouse the public from slumber induced by ignorance, indifference, apathy, confusion and denial. Government is inundated with reports and studies from think tanks, academia, prestigious government research agencies and the cybersecurity industry—each decrying the weak and deteriorating state in our cyberdefenses and proffering advice to the new administration.
Protection of the Global Information Grid now has evolved into global asymmetric warfare. Engaging in this combat is the principal mission of the U.S. Cyber Command because the infrastructure of the Internet is fundamentally insecure, and the U.S. Defense Department depends increasingly on this cyber highway to function.
There are tens of thousands of defenders of the Internet infrastructure who must be vigilant around the clock, everywhere. Meanwhile, small teams of attackers can strike undetected whenever they choose, from wherever they may be in the world. This is why the contests between the defenders and the aggressors meet the definition of asymmetric warfare in its extreme form.
Upgrades to a major command and control system soon will provide U.S. commanders with better tools to coordinate theater- and strategic-level operations.
A small business innovation research project is taking the Joint Tactical Radio System Ground Mobile Radio program from simulation to emulation through a combination of technical advancements and government cooperation. The effort would enable the military to scale up the radio network and ensure the system will work without investing in actual hardware. Training options also exist as part of the future employment of the technology.
The U.S. Defense Department is taking significant strides toward resolving problems with information technology acquisition in part because of impetus from outside parties. Reports by an independent board and pending legislation have made specific recommendations for changes in the procurement process that the department is working to implement.
The U.S. Army recently finished construction of an optical network that offers troops in certain foreign locations all the data transmission speed and availability they need for the foreseeable future. After Defense Communications Systems–Europe completed the development process earlier this year, the 5th Signal Command took over control of the network and is studying how best to migrate from asynchronous transfer mode legacy systems to the new one.
Joint-service weapons intelligence teams around Iraq are deriving insights about enemies’ use of weapons in the country. The work helps coalition forces alter their operations and tactics to better avoid prevalent dangers. The knowledge of perpetrators’ methods and identities aids in the fight against various weapons, especially improvised explosive devices. Team members processing sites collect information about explosives, then report on their findings, adding to intelligence databases and troop knowledge.
The U.S. Navy is outfitting its ships with unclassified wireless networks that will allow sailors and marines to move around a vessel with laptops and personal digital assistants.
A new radio undergoing trials with the U.S. military soon may allow joint and coalition warfighters’ legacy radios to interoperate without the need for human-directed spectrum management. The radio combines several technologies that allow it to serve as a gateway linking disparate radios and datalinks together into a digital network. The radio is able to avoid the interference and disruptions common to wireless communications in tactical battlefield environments.
The U.S. military and industry are developing a handheld device that will provide warfighters in the battlespace the same capabilities that are the lifeblood of most teenagers in developed countries: texting, data, voice and video-on-demand in the palms of their hands. Creating this information-sharing phenomenon takes more than just handing iPhones out to soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines. Because warfighters often operate in places with less-than-ideal infrastructure and need secure channels, delivering these Swiss Army knives of communications gadgets requires stratospheric support.