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Featured Stories

Tradition Drives Modernization In Portugal

May 2010
By Robert K. Ackerman, SIGNAL Magazine

One of NATO’s oldest and smaller member nations is vying with history and modern economics as it endeavors to tailor a modern military that can respond to any contingency coalition operation around the world. Portugal, which has been an independent nation for more than 850 years, seeks to maintain its global tradition of international cooperation amid rapid changes in the military and economic makeup of the Atlantic alliance.

Navy Builds Around Intelligence, Information Consolidation

May 2010
By Robert K. Ackerman, SIGNAL Magazine

The U.S. Navy already is encountering unexpected changes following the consolidation of its N-2 and N-6 organizations. The effects of the merger already are leaving their mark on the organization itself along with the rest of the service. Budgetary planners effectively are defining the new organization’s campaign plan for the next few years. And, new technologies have leaped to the top of the Navy’s priority list.

Network Situational Awareness Looms Large in Cyberspace

May 2010
By Robert K. Ackerman, SIGNAL Magazine

The key to prevailing in a hostile cyberspace environment may lie in the ability to generate a comprehensive picture of that environment. Both the military and the public sector rely heavily on cyberspace assets that are intertwined, and effective threat detection and response will need to encompass both realms.

Joint Returns

May 2010
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Magazine

Some U.S. troops are finding their home bases a little more diverse than in the past. Various posts around the country are transforming from geographically close but military-branch separate bases into single, larger, joint-service locations. This arrangement reflects the morphing of military missions to joint operations. It also saves the U.S. Defense Department needed funds while continuing to provide the same services to warfighters and their families.

Infusing FITE Into Simulations

May 2010
By Maryann Lawlor, SIGNAL Magazine

A joint capability technology demonstration project currently underway is literally clothing U.S. soldiers and Marines in computers and placing them in virtual scenarios. The program is upping the investment in modeling and simulation developments—traditionally focused on land and air vehicles—to better reflect current operational needs. It aims not only at augmenting traditional training methods but also at determining the most effective ways to reach and teach the newest generation of warfighters.

Convergence Aids the Edge

April 2010
By Robert K. Ackerman

The Defense Information Systems Agency is confronting the uncertain future of warfare by aiming to provide its customers with whatever choices they may need to deal with whatever future they may face. The goal is to allow them to choose their information services instead of force them into systems that might be ineffective when a new type of conflict emerges.

Intelligence Embraces Network-Centric Facility

April 2010
By Robert K. Ackerman, SIGNAL Magazine

A major U.S. intelligence agency is building its new headquarters facility around a network-centric architecture dedicated to information access and dissemination. The new construct allows the agency to accommodate the technology advances that have changed missions radically over the years.

Devil Dogs in Japan Fly Right

April 2010
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Magazine

The latest version of an F/A-18D aircraft simulation has arrived at the only Marine Corps forward-operating location that houses a permanent squadron of the aircraft. Similar devices reside at stateside bases, but this newest version has enhancements that especially benefit users operating in restricted spaces. In addition to providing better training to Marines immediately, the simulator comes with a support contract that will keep it current with aircraft upgrades. The support process directly involves users so that alterations made to the device actually benefit aircrews in the way they need.

Command's Information Dominance Center Fuels Comprehensive Operations

April 2010
By Col. George Franz, USA; Lt. Col. David Pendall, USA; and Lt. Col. Jeffery Steffen, USA, SIGNAL Magazine

The International Security Assistance Force Joint Command in Kabul, Afghanistan, is implementing an information-sharing architecture that will create and enable a comprehensive common operating picture, derived from multiple systems, networks and classifications. It is designed to be the most decisive information and knowledge management effort ever executed within Afghanistan. This level of battlespace management and synchronization never has been attempted on this scale within NATO or the coalition force.

High-Flying Challenges

April 2010
By Maryann Lawlor, SIGNAL Magazine

A brand new way of doing business and a contract estimated to be worth more than $5 billion over 10 years is bound to cause some discussion. And that is exactly what is happening in vociferous debate and hushed tones between government agencies and the companies that supply the satellite communications lifeline to today’s warfighters. At issue is the wisdom of moving from buying time on commercial satellites from a limited number of providers to the ability to purchase megabits per month the same way agencies buy office supplies.
The genesis of this new line of reasoning began in 2008. The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), Arlington, Virginia, and the General Services Administration (GSA), Washington, D.C., launched their initial discussions about commercial satellite communications (COMSATCOM) services. The Future COMSATCOM Services Acquisition (FCSA) program is the result of two years of cost analysis, requirements reckoning and acquisition strategy meetings that resulted in an announcement last August that the two organizations were creating a common marketplace for COMSATCOM.

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