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SIGNAL Online Exclusives

Day/Night ISR Floats Over Afghanistan

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.

Terrorists, Organized Crime Increase Teaming Efforts

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."

Navy Pursues a Better Attack Submarine Virtually

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.

Navy Releases Updated Draft NGEN Request for Proposal

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.

AFOSR Adds Features, Influences Future in Annual Review

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.

6-Pound Charger Flexes Muscle in Halls of Power

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.

Military Alters Process for Industry IR&D Funding

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.

2013 Budget Proposal Reflects Change, Realities

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).

Diplomacy Wins the Day for Alliance Ground Surveillance System

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.

The Last Cyber Warrior

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.

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