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Featured Stories

Step-by-Step, Marching to the Smart Grid

August 2011
By Max Cacas, SIGNAL Magazine

It is a project that most officials and power industry leaders acknowledge will take 20 to 30 years. But already, government and industry representatives involved in upgrading the United States’ electrical infrastructure to the highly anticipated smart grid are reporting success in developing some of the first standards for the long-term nationwide project.

Global and Domestic Focus on Cybersecurity Sharpened

August 2011
By Max Cacas, SIGNAL Magazine

From the White House, to the Defense Department, and from corporate boardrooms to computer rooms across the country, the issue of protecting the networks of government and industry is increasingly leading to the development of new strategies and plans.

Operators, Industry Guide Special Forces Acquisition

July 2011
By Robert K. Ackerman, SIGNAL Magazine

Special operations forces are looking to the commercial communications marketplace for their next generation of information systems and solutions. However, the U.S. Special Operations Command’s ability to tap commercial off-the-shelf systems is proving more difficult as its needs become more complex.

Military Elite Fly High in Afghanistan

July 2011
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Magazine

Military use of unmanned systems has increased substantially during the years of war in the Middle East, and even the service branch usually at home on the water is taking to the skies to support ground operations. The U.S. Navy is using ScanEagle platforms to support special operations forces in battle, helping to save lives as well as to complete missions successfully.

Newest Networks Now for the Military

July 2011
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Magazine

As commercial carriers around the globe begin to offer 4G networks to customers, the U.S. government is looking for similar capabilities in its organizations. A pioneering project is scheduled to move onto the battlefield soon to provide disadvantaged users with 3G capabilities for intelligence dissemination, but even as that moves forward, the next-generation wireless capability will become available.

When Walls Get in the Way, Bureau Goes Mobile

July 2011
By Max Cacas, SIGNAL Magazine

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, a unit of the U.S. Department of Justice, has emerged as a leader in the government’s executive branch when it comes to deploying mobile devices among its personnel. The agency’s law enforcement portfolio has given it an edge as a large portion of its work force already uses laptops and handheld devices for work outside of the Washington, D.C., headquarters.

A Lot of Blood in Kandahar

July 2011
By George I. Seffers, SIGNAL Magazine

Cmdr. Rick McCarthy, USN, director of administration for the NATO hospital in Kandahar, tells a lot of gory war stories: like the one about the 18-month-old toddler with a bullet wound in one arm. Or the report about the Afghanistan citizen who, following an explosion, had to have rocks picked from his face and lumps of dirt pulled from the tops of his eyeballs. Or the story about the soldier who had his face crushed by the armor-clad body of one of his buddies.

Marines Network in Southwest Afghanistan

June 2011
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Magazine

During a year spent in the harsh environs of Helmand Province, communications Marines from the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) engaged in a range of projects that helped protect their fellow warfighters and changed the face of technology in the area. From enlarging existing networks to introducing capabilities new to the Corps, systems in that territory will never be the same. And neither will the lives of the local residents, who are taking advantage of the increased stability in the region.

Selling Overseas Is a Two-Way Challenge

June 2011
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Magazine

The export laws imposed by the U.S. government on defense-related goods and information have been a source of aggravation for U.S. companies and foreign customers for years. Private-sector firms continue to push for changes, and both the enforcement agencies and the current presidential administration are responding. However, interested parties sitting outside the border see several issues that might not be at the forefront for those making the adjustments.

Badgers Claw Away at Deadly Dangers

June 2011
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Magazine

Coalition forces have a new resource in the battle against improvised explosive devices, and it should enhance efforts well into the future. This training initiative offers both immediate skills for the war in Afghanistan as well as train-the-trainer options for participants to bring back to their home countries. Success will mean fewer deaths and injuries for all warfighters, but the work also has another goal—to prepare foreign troops to take more active roles in conflict, thereby reducing the number of U.S. service members who have to fight on the front lines.

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