The U.S. Defense Department is continually improving one of its major intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance collection and distribution systems to improve interoperability among the military services and coalition allies and to make the information more readily available, increasing situational awareness on the battlefield.
SIGNAL Online Exclusives
The cyberthreat to the natural gas infrastructure is just a brushstroke in a bigger picture of an ongoing and evolving cybersecurity threat to the government and the nation, according to Greg Wilshusen, director of information security issues with the Government Accountability Office.
The U.S. Defense Department's Joint Information Enterprise (JIE), launched by the Joint Chiefs of Staff Operational Deputies, will be built on "five big rocks," according to the assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Vice Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr., USN, told the audience at the AFCEA NOVA Naval IT Day on May 3 that big rocks must serve as the foundation so that little rocks can be implemented atop them.
The situation in Afghanistan is good but not great, and corruption is the biggest problem facing the nation, according to Maj. Gen. John A. Toolan Jr., USMC. The corruption comes in two forms: the parasitic type found in the central government and the predatory corruption found in the military and police forces, especially the Afghan National Police. At the high level, dishonest officials use the current weak state of the Afghan government as a host off which they feed, often also making money from the drug trade.
The report also recommends that Congress return to the president the authority to determine the export control jurisdictional status of satellites and related items.
The U.S. State Department wants to spend as much as $1 billion over the next five years to expand its fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to be used primarily for embassy security and to protect transportation routes.
The agency's formal request for proposal seeks bids for "real-time air surveillance of fixed installations, proposed movement routes, and special events thereby improving security in high-threat or potentially high-threat environments."
Tethered aerostats with Persistent Threat Detection Systems that fly over separate forward operating bases in Afghanistan received capability upgrades recently with the addition of new Kestrels. Unlike the former versions, the revamped technology includes electro-optical/infrared features, enabling users to have a 360-degree view of targets in a city-size area after sundown and during the day.
Securing the homeland will require closer cooperation among military and civilian government organizations as diverse threats adopt each others' tactics and techniques. Terrorists, smugglers and other organized crime entities have learned from each other and, in some cases, are joining forces to threaten Western democracies in new ways. Testifying before the U.S. Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities, Michael A. Sheehan, assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low-intensity conflict, described a menacing trend in which "terrorism, drug trafficking and other types of transnational organized crime are increasingly intertwined."
Technical advances in the field of virtual reality, also known as virtual worlds (VWs), are making it possible for the U.S Navy to tap into the collective expertise of its best submariners to design and build the next generation of attack submarines.
The U.S. Navy has released its updated draft Request for Proposal (RFP) for the Next-Generation Enterprise Network (NGEN) that originally was scheduled for December 2011. According the Naval Enterprise Networks program management office (PMW 205), industry has 10 working days from the date of the announcement (March 16, 2012) to submit comments or questions regarding the RFP to the program office.
The Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) wrapped up its annual review earlier this month, during which the organization's program managers had a chance to showcase their work to authorities from defense, government, academia and the general public. Already personnel have identified areas where research will adjust to meet identified needs with more detailed plans expected soon.
It's not often that objects as small as battery chargers and solar blankets become the center of attention at a U.S. Senate budget hearing where multibillion-dollar programs are discussed, but for a few minutes of the March 8 Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, U.S. Army officials touted the need for such items to take a load off of the backs of soldiers.
The U.S. Defense Department has released a new rule in which major contractors--defined as organizations whose covered segments allocated a total of more than $11 million in independent research and development (IR&D) and bid and proposal (B&P) costs to covered contracts during the preceding fiscal year--must enter project information into the Defense Innovation Marketplace for costs to be allowable. This regulation aims to create better communication between what the military needs and where companies invest their funding.
As expected, President Obama's fiscal year 2013 defense budget request reflects significant changes in the force structure of the military, adjustments in major weapons systems, and a proposal for two consecutive rounds of base realignment and closure (BRAC).
A flurry of diplomatic activity in recent months and the intervention of high-level Pentagon officials helped the NATO nations to move forward on the Alliance Ground Surveillance system. The surveillance system is designed to provide commanders with a more comprehensive picture of the situation on the ground.
When it comes down to it, you — yes, you — are the last line of cyber defense against the endless hordes of cyber criminals, terrorists and foreign agents. Digital technology now touches almost every living person and as time moves on its reach will only continue to grow. With technology reaching us all and being incorporated into more parts of our daily lives, you can no longer rely on someone else to protect you. Whether it is defending your data at work, or defending your personal data at home, being an effective cyber defender is a continuous responsibility.
The former head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) says he believes a forthcoming period of budget restrictions should provide the impetus for the DHS to shift its intelligence efforts away from overseas threats and focus instead on domestic security.
The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, San Diego, has selected Northrop Grumman Space and Mission Systems Corporation to develop and produce the Navy's next-generation tactical afloat network, Consolidated Afloat Networks and Enterprise Services (CANES).
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta today offered the first glimpse into changes in store for the U.S. military that will come to pass if the president's 2013 Pentagon budget is approved by Congress. Those changes include reductions for two major branches of the military, adjustments in some major weapons systems, and asking Congress for authorization to begin a new round of the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process.
The U.S. Army deployed four large unmanned ground systems to Afghanistan earlier this month to assess their ability to lighten the load for combat troops.