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May 2010

Security Treasure Hunt Closer to Its Gems

May 26, 2010
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

The U.S. Cyber Challenge's (USCC's) Security Treasure Hunt wrapped up last week after more than a month of participation by students in three states. The event aimed to identify potential cybersecurity professionals through an online competition that presented players with a target system containing security vulnerabilities to assess and fix. Now, event coordinators are assessing results to determine who will win free trips to cyber camps this summer to advance and prove their skills further.

Charting the Way to Defense Information Assurance

Friday, May 21, 2010
By Robert K. Ackerman, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

The U.S. Defense Department has developed an information assurance policy chart in an attempt to pull together the department’s diverse information assurance policies under a single umbrella document. The web-based chart provides hyperlinks directly to policies so that a user can identify and trace their origins as well as track changes that occur.

CAR Talk

May 20, 2010

What do bad brakes, invading termites, leaky dams and equally leaky military networks have in common? They are conditions that can result in significant damage if not addressed but are easily avoided through attention, upkeep and paying attention to Certification and Accreditation (C&A) Process, DIACAP, resulting in an Approval to Operate (ATO) or an Interim Approval to Operate (IATO). . There are a number of people who will tell you that keeping them in good IA order is too much work and/or too costly. These are usually the people who have “more important things to worry about” or MITT-WA.

Robot Navigation System Readies for Prime Time

May 17, 2010
by Henry Kenyon, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

A package of sensors, software and navigation equipment will soon permit U.S. Army ground robots, trucks and armored vehicles to move around a battlefield with minimal human supervision. The Autonomous Navigation System (ANS) allows robots to perceive and follow paths and other vehicles. The system recently completed its critical design review and is now moving on to the prototype fabrication stage.

Move Now to Participate in CWID 2011

May 17, 2010
by Maryann Lawlor, SIGNAL Connections

This year’s event occurs in mid-June, but plans for NEXT year’s event have already started, and leaders have identified some priorities.

Afghanistan App Offers Info Without Internet

May 17, 2010
by Rita Boland, SIGNAL Connections

Two U.S. Air Force captains at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) have developed a BlackBerry app to assist forces in Afghanistan. MobiAFG, short for mobile Afghanistan, enables warfighters to access the Program for Culture & Conflict Studies (CCS) Web site's geographical, cultural and other information about the country.

Cyber Command Moves Into Position

May 06, 2010
by Maryann Lawlor, SIGNAL Online Exclusive

While they await the U.S. Senate’s decision about assigning Lt. Gen. Keith B. Alexander, USA, as commander of the U.S. Cyber Command (CYBERCOM), military members of the new sub-unified command are poising their fingers above computer keyboards ready to begin their mission. Decisions already have been made about which joint commands to disestablish and merge and where the command’s headquarters will be: Fort George G. Meade, Maryland, some 1,177 miles away from U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM), its host unified command. While the date of initial operational capability is nebulous, full operational capability (FOC) is scheduled to occur on October 1, 2010. If confirmed, Gen. Alexander will serve as both the director of the National Security Agency and CYBERCOM’s commander.

New Products

May 17, 2010
by Henry S. Kenyon, SIGNAL Connections

Biometrics Collection Device

Warfighters, law enforcement and homeland security personnel sometimes need to record personal information at checkpoints, crime and disaster scenes. BioTRAC is a ruggedized, portable identity management system designed to provide multimodal biometrics collection in the field. The system incorporates several biometric devices that can perform identity enrollment in less than two minutes. It includes four, high-resolution fingerprint sensors; a multifunction camera with a one- and two-dimensional barcode reader; and dual iris-capture cameras. In addition, BioTRAC features a smart card reader, Global Positioning System, a proximity card reader and wireless communications capabilities, including 3G, 802.11 and Bluetooth. Northrop Grumman Corporation created the system.


Compact Console System

Homefront Help

May 17, 2010
by Rita Boland, SIGNAL Connections

Homefront Help is SIGNAL Connections’ effort to support U.S. service members, veterans and their families. The column highlights programs that offer resources and assistance to the military community ranging from care packages to benefits and everything in between. In that same spirit, Homefront Help presents opportunities for readers to donate time, offer resources and send words of thanks to those who sacrifice for freedom. Programs that provide services are listed in red. Opportunities for the public to reach out to service members are listed in blue. Each program description includes a link to the organization's Web site, when available.

Operation: Military Kids

Operation: Military Kids (OMK) supports military children where they live through national, state and local partnerships that establish access to youth programs and other services. More than 600 OMK partners operate around the country to provide opportunities for young children to teenagers. One of the efforts, the Speak Out for Military Kids program, trains military and other youths to form speakers bureaus to advocate for military-connected children affected by deployment. The OMK partners also offer resources for youngsters who have school-related problems, and they put on single-day and weekend camps. In addition to planning special events, OMK partners can provide transportation to activities and participate in the Hero Pack Initiative.

Joint Operations Are Complex and Diverse

May 2010
By Kent R. Schneider, SIGNAL Magazine

This edition of SIGNAL Magazine includes a focus report on joint operations, and AFCEA holds its Joint Warfighting Conference, partnered with the U.S. Naval Institute, this month at the Virginia BeachConvention Center, May 11-13. The joint environment has more players and a more comprehensive potential mission set than we have routinely considered in the past. The concept of joint now includes interagency, and joint and coalition are nearly inseparable. Missions range from conventional and asymmetric warfare to humanitarian assistance/disaster relief.

The program for the Joint Warfighting Conference, developed with the commander and staff of the U.S. Joint Forces Command, illustrates this complexity. Speakers include the expected key joint commanders and senior leaders: the Honorable Michèle Flournoy, undersecretary of defense for policy, U.S. Defense Department; Adm. Michael Mullen, USN, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Gen. Stéphane Abrial, FAF, supreme allied commander transformation, NATO; Gen. David Petraeus, USA, commander, U.S. Central Command; Vice Adm. Robert Papp Jr., USCG, commander, Coast Guard Atlantic Area; and Gen. James Mattis, USMC, commander, U.S. Joint Forces Command.

Because the commands cannot tell the entire story, the conference also features representatives from a broad range of perspectives: the military services, the Department of Homeland Security, the State Department, law enforcement, the cyberspace environment, the research and development community, the acquisition community, innovative authors, the media and others.


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