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Featured Stories

Bulgarian Military Faces Multitude of Challenges

November 2010
By Robert K. Ackerman, SIGNAL Magazine

Barely six years after it joined NATO, Bulgaria is in the throes of a major military upheaval as it strives to modernize its forces effectively amid severe budget constraints. The Black Sea nation must undo decades of stagnation as a Warsaw Pact member along with more recent missteps during its early modernization efforts.

Properly Equipping The Force

November 2010
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Magazine

The U.S. Army’s Program Executive Office Soldier is working with a focused fervor to carry out its responsibility to refine the development of and supply virtually every piece of equipment soldiers wear or carry. As troops engage in persistent conflicts around the globe, they require a new set of technologies to achieve their missions. To ensure victory on the battlefield, these tools must make forces more lethal, survivable, sustainable and agile. Office personnel are working to ensure they do just that, whether the situation calls for a new uniform or a state-of-the-art technical device.

Helping Soldiers Take a Load Off

November 2010
By Rita Boland

The great green Hulk of comic-book lore becomes superstrong when angered. Now, the U.S. Army is investigating a tool with a similar name that will allow warfighters to extend their strength, enabling them to carry heavy weights without straining their bodies—and without the need to take on a broccoli-like hue. By equipping troops with an exoskeleton, developers believe they can help reduce military members’ burdens and assist them in better conducting their missions.

Waveform Navigates Radio Labyrinth

November 2010
By Maryann Lawlor

Work on the Soldier Radio Waveform is focusing on increasing the number of nodes—currently up to 36 radios—that can stay connected in a chaotic environment. Recent testing indicates that it shows great promise for keeping warfighters at the platoon level connected to their squad leader with both data and voice even when communications among the entire squad are lost. The waveform searches for other available radios from the same squad, then hops back through the nodes to create a path for data and voice communications.

Situational Awareness In Hand

November 2010
By George I. Seffers, SIGNAL Magazine

In an effort to improve situational awareness down to the squad leader level, the U.S. Marines Corps and Army intend to provide the next-generation situational awareness software on ruggedized handheld platforms similar to smart phones or personal digital assistants. The Joint Battle Command-Platform is the second increment of Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below software that was fielded more than a decade ago. The new platform is intended to provide integrated, on-the-move, timely, relevant command and control and situational awareness information at all echelons, enabling units to become more survivable and lethal. It also will improve combat effectiveness, reduce risk of fratricide, improve latency, security and interoperability within the joint environment, and provide an integrated network with increased bandwidth and a more user-friendly interface.

Pacific Command Faces New Set of Challenges

October 2010
By Robert K. Ackerman, SIGNAL Magazine

Obstacles ranging from passive obstinance to active hostility are vexing efforts by the U.S. Pacific Command to maintain security across the vast Asia-Pacific region. The command has built a structure of stability throughout the region based on diplomatic and military cooperation with most of the several dozen nations that populate the hemisphere. However, new military challenges are putting plans and resources to the test.

Intelligence Key to Counterdrug Efforts

October 2010
By Robert K. Ackerman, SIGNAL Magazine

The transnational threats of drug trafficking, money laundering and narcoterrorism have increased the value of international intelligence to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. The agency is interoperating more closely with U.S. and foreign intelligence agencies to share and process information about threats that only a few years ago were the purview of just one specialty agency.

Practice Makes Perfect

October 2010
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Magazine

Operating from the most remote island chain on the planet, the U.S. Pacific Command is working to bridge the waters that surround it by training hard and often with countries in the Asia-Pacific region. In an area of responsibility where bilateral relationships rather than multinational alliances are the norm, personnel spend large amounts of time engaged in exercises designed to improve interoperability and promote peace. Each year command troops and civilians alike rehearse, sometimes with tens of thousands of their closest friends, for real-world emergencies while simultaneously establishing relationships with their neighbors to the east.

Space Monitoring Undergoes Extreme Makeover

October 2010
By Maryann Lawlor, SIGNAL Magazine

A multitude of changes underway at U.S. Strategic Command are revolutionizing the U.S. Defense Department’s place in space. In addition to the three Wideband Global SATCOM satellites currently in orbit, the command is discussing how the commercial sector can continue to support its missions, and its Joint Space Operations Center is undergoing not just a facelift but what can be considered a total remodeling. In addition, the command is boosting its outreach through the influence it now has with its authority over the Commercial and Foreign Entities Program.

U.S. Defense Department Expands Biometrics Technologies, Information Sharing

October 2010
By George I. Seffers, SIGNAL Magazine

The U.S. Biometrics Identity Management Agency, an Army agency tasked with coordinating biometrics efforts across the Defense Department, is expanding capabilities and broadening data sharing with other government agencies and coalition partners. The agency, which also operates the department’s premier biometrics database, is coordinating with the departments of Justice, State and Homeland Security to share biometrics data between the three primary databases used by the various departments.

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