SIGNAL Online Exclusives

April 18, 2012
By George I. Seffers, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

The report also recommends that Congress return to the president the authority to determine the export control jurisdictional status of satellites and related items.

April 13, 2012
By Max Cacas, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

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."

April 3, 2012
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

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.

March 29, 2012
By Robert K. Ackerman, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

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."

March 21, 2012
By Max Cacas, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

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.

March 16, 2012
By Robert K. Ackerman, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

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.

March 15, 2012
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

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.

Thursday, March 8, 2012
By George I. Seffers, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

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.

February 22, 2012
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

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.

February 13, 2012
By Max Cacas, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

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).

February 10, 2012
By George I. Seffers, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

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.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

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.

February 3, 2012
By Max Cacas, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

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.

February 2, 2012
By George I. Seffers, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

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).

January 26, 2012
By Max Cacas, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

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.

January 23, 2012
By George I. Seffers, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

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.

January 18, 2012
By Rita Cooper, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

With the military's current mandates to increase efficiencies, virtualization offers multiple benefits to the armed forces. Projects underway at the National Security Agency are advancing its use, but the government needs to reconcile security requirements with available capabilities before warfighters enjoy the full benefit of the technology.

January 10, 2012
By Max Cacas, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

With the new year only a few days old, one of the information technology industry's biggest security firms is out with its annual predictions of the top cybersecurity threats for 2012. David Marcus, director of security research with McAfee Labs and a principal co-author of the study, says threats against industrial and industry networks top the list.

January 5, 2012
By Robert K. Ackerman, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

Out with the old (Cold War systems), in with the new: Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta says that ISR, space and cyber will be new priority areas as the Defense Department embarks on a strategy befitting the new global security environment. Speaking at a January 5 Pentagon press conference, Panetta defined the future military as “a smaller and leaner force” with reductions coming in the U.S. Army and the U.S. Marine Corps. This force will be more agile and flexible, ready to deploy quickly, and it will feature new technologies and other advances.

December 23, 2011
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

Officials in the Tampa FBI office recently awarded a badge and credentials to a non-agent for what, according to their research, is the first time in the bureau’s history. Sgt. Joel Tavera, USA, received the honor in recognition of the sacrifice he made serving his country and to pay tribute to his persistent spirit. But he set the process in motion with a little playful cheek.

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