In the battle to share information effectively among local, state and federal partners, the National Guard Bureau has employed a tool designed to give personnel an edge. This geospatial information technology is deployed across the United States and its territories, enabling better coordination during emergency situations. With Google Earth as its base, it already has proved valuable in large-scale responses, and officials are planning future improvements.
Now that information systems have redefined how a military leader exercises command and control, they are being retasked to free that leader from constraints imposed in the process of innovation and revolution. The technology revolution has been established; now the cultural struggle is underway.
China’s navy has begun using unmanned aerial vehicles as part of its blue-water operations. At least one type has been photographed by foreign reconnaissance aircraft, and other variants have been reported. Not only has China been displaying an assortment of models at air shows, it also is incorporating advanced U.S. unmanned vehicle technology into current and future systems.
A solar cell no bigger than the dot over the letter “i” is setting new standards for efficiency and could significantly reduce the cost of solar-provided power in hot, dry regions, making solar energy more competitive with established, conventional sources of electricity, according to experts.
Command and control is undergoing an evolution spawned by the information technology revolution. These changes may be both desired and immutable, as no military commander can either neglect new capabilities or turn back the technological clock when it comes to managing forces in the battlespace.
Significant changes lie ahead for U.S. Army forces as communicators move into the next era of battlespace communications. Smartphone technology is opening the door for individual networking devices for which signaleers already are laying the groundwork. And, the promise of cloud computing would enable large amounts of data to be moved among the battlefield without mobile databases.
All computer systems are prone to attacks from various cyberthreats, but disruptions on few of those networks have the potential to cause calamitous damage to national infrastructures.To help prevent catastrophe, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has an effort dedicated to countering these dangers through various partnerships and training opportunities.
U.S. Marines are tasked with battling enemies in any environment or domain and increasingly that location is cyberspace. Information assurance officials around the Corps are striving to ensure the reliability and trustworthiness of the service’s systems, and though they are aware of the potential for attack from the outside, misuse from the inside is a more prevalent concern.
Personnel from the U.S. Army’s 780th Military Intelligence Brigade--the service's first-ever cyber brigade--already are assisting in securing the U.S. Defense Department's networks against cyber attacks, although the brigade will not be fully operational until fiscal year 2015.
U.S. Marine commanders soon will have a new mobile command and control capability that will be readily transferable from vehicle to vehicle without mounting or installation modifications. This new system is being created primarily from cost-effective, off-the-shelf digital communications equipment.
Future command and control systems may have agility serving as the foundation for their success. Changes in missions, enabling technologies and threats are altering the landscape for command and control capabilities at all levels of military operations.
The U.S. Defense Department and Department of Veterans Affairs have launched an effort to combine their two electronic health record systems into one. This integrated Electronic Health Record will track medical care from the day military members join the service through the rest of their lives.
For many, the words "homeland security" and "counterterrorism" conjure up images of federal investigators engaged in large-scale battle with a host of enemies bent on death and destruction. But the war often begins on a smaller, more subtle level.
In the next two years, federal officials plan to unveil a new means for providing emergency information to the U.S. public.
The path to achieving the vital goal of coalition interoperability may require abandoning longtime networking tenets in favor of a data-centric or knowledge management approach.
The U.S. government has released a road map to cloud computing that is designed to tackle some key issues, establish priorities and provide a clear path for government agencies and industry. The draft publication defines high-priority requirements for standards, official guidance and technology developments that need to be met for agencies to accelerate their migration of existing information technology systems to the cloud computing model.
The international mining community is racing to turn the tables on the People’s Republic of China by challenging its absolute dominance of the market for rare earths, a series of elements in the periodic table critical for the U.S. military’s high-technology communications and weaponry.
The revolution in information technology has been a boon to military command and control capabilities, but it also has introduced a new set of challenges to operational commanders. These technologies have complicated the process of command and control while simultaneously softening the basic understanding of its principles.
The challenges presented by the Asia-Pacific region in the 21st century are complex and diverse, and the U.S. military must carry out an increasingly changing mission under tightening budget constraints. The United States must adapt to ensure that it can address these and many other concerns, including cyberspace security of military and commercial networks, that will play a significant role in determining the future of the Asia-Pacific region.
Cyberspace has become a new dimension in warfare and defense. And, just like the other dimensions—air, land and sea—it requires special operation tactics and technologies. Given the many advantages offered by cyberwarfare—low cost, widespread applicability and ease of operation—it is likely to be the weapon of choice for future aggressors menacing NATO and its allies.