Even if people try to practice sound information assurance, it is often difficult to keep up with some of the policies and procedures because technology moves at such a fast pace. This is true not only in military, government and private sector settings, but also in our own homes. Often network intrusions are not due to malicious or negligent actions, but to lack of understanding of what needs to be done. That’s where Security Technical Implementation Guides (STIGs) come in.
The conventional wisdom—and common joke—is that the U.S. Marine Corps receives used-up, hand-me-down equipment passed along from the Navy and Army. But that proved not to be the case during the recently completed Navy-Marine Corps exercise Bold Alligator 2011. In fact, the Marine Corps brought to the exercise more modern information technology systems than the Navy, which created interoperability problems and delays in providing critical information to commanders.
The first satellite built by the U.S. Army in more than five decades launched last week, ushering in a new phase of space use for the military branch.
A groundbreaking artificial intelligence (AI) project seeks to have sensors accepting and transmitting information in a method similar to the human brain.
Troops now have a secure means to share videos. With the unveiling of milTube, the latest addition to milSuite, the military work force no longer needs to turn to YouTube—a practice the higher echelons frown upon—to share training or professional development clips.
The Air Combat Command is offering an information-sharing approach and visualization tool to facilitate decision making based on knowledge rather than available technology. As this strategy moves out, it will affect not only the U.S. Air Force but also the U.S. Defense Department and industry.
U.S. military command and control (C2) systems developers are closer to enhanced interoperability after the release of C2 Core Version 1.0 in October. The core is an open, Extensible Markup Language (XML)-based data exchange standard developed by the C2 community for capability implementation. These data standards change the current approach to military-systems design that results in unique interfaces, often with multiple standards for similar data, for each information exchange.
Much has been written about maneuver in various domains of conflict—land, sea and air. As in many other fields, the thinking owes much to the late Col. John Boyd, USAF, who is well known for his concept of the OODA loop (observe, orient, decide, act), and who contributed materially to thinking about maneuver warfare vice attrition warfare.
After 10 years of service, it is time to say goodbye to the Navy/Marine Corps Intranet—almost. The massive network serves more than 700,000 sailors, Marines and civilians and makes up about 70 percent of the total Navy information technology footprint ashore. It originally was supposed to finish its time with the Navy in early fall to make way for the Next Generation Enterprise Network. Instead, the sea service has extended the life of the Navy/Marine Corps Intranet and will spend $3.4 billion on a continuity-of-services contract to keep the network around for another 43 months.
It is the objective of the U.S. Navy’s Information Dominance Corps to manage a global network that delivers instant integration of military data across a number of separate specializations such as geographic, intelligence, logistics and manpower, as well as provide information about red or blue forces. The semantic Web will be the engine needed to power the effort.
The U.S. Navy is steaming full speed toward attaining its dream of a digital force, but the most difficult part of the journey may lie just ahead. The sea service has its technological map, and its course has the endorsement of the top leadership. However, it must deal with a new set of challenges as its info-centric force evolves into a new form.
When scientists at the U.S. Army Research Office set out in 2003 to build a light-controlling synthetic material, they had no idea what the result would be—but they knew it would be big. A few years later, the research led them to ask if an invisibility cloak would be possible, and with each passing year, they get a little closer to making that science fiction fantasy a reality.
Mathematical research conducted by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology could lead to the development of military radios capable of hopping frequencies up to 1,000 times faster than conventional systems. The research also could result in more energy-efficient, interference-resistant cellular telephones than are available today, as well as improvements in many other modern communications devices.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is investing in the exploration of solutions to problems that have not yet reared their ugly heads. On its way to discovering countermeasures for the threats it foresees, the department also is using what it has learned to avert incidents that could have had much more disastrous results and cost U.S. workers hundreds of millions of dollars. And, on its way to creating future technologies to protect the homeland, the department is empowering the next generation of scientists to reach willingly for creative responses to the question “What if…?”
With the ascension to full operational capability, the U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/10th Fleet is moving the U.S. Navy’s role in cyberspace alongside the ranks of space, air, surface and subsurface in defending the United States from attack. No longer viewed merely in a support role, information professionals are in operational mode worldwide. Their mission is to protect U.S. networks while contributing as a force multiplier by assisting in kinetic warfare and wielding nonkinetic effects.
I spent some time last month in London at the AFCEA TechNet International event run by our AFCEA Europe office. This conference dealt with integrating the cyber domain into our concept of battlespace. It occurred to me during this discussion that our understanding of battlespace has changed fundamentally even before we add the cyber domain. Would we have considered the World Trade Center in New York part of the battlespace before 9/11? Would we have considered the London Underground part of the battlespace before 7/7? Probably not. In this age of asymmetric warfare, the boundaries of the physical battlespace are unclear. In this context, adding the cyber domain, which is broader than the Internet, is perhaps not as much of a stretch as it might have been prior to this redefinition of the physical battlespace.
As conflict in Afghanistan intensifies, coalition allies are employing all elements of information-gathering technology to win battles while protecting themselves and civilians. Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance activity is at an all-time high as experts try to coordinate the largest armada of these capabilities ever deployed.
The decades-long dream of harnessing the sun’s power in orbit as a source of clean, renewable energy on Earth may lie just over the horizon. Yet, unlike traditional space efforts, this concept may come to fruition as a result of commercial—not government—commitment.