West 2011 Online Show Daily, Day 3. "Adaptability often is viewed as a responsive act. However, adaptability and preparation are inexorably linked."--Alfred Grasso, president and chief executive officer, the MITRE Corporation
West 2011 Online Show Daily, Day 2.“We’ve got to get that [continuing resolution limitation] fixed, or it will force the Department of the Navy to make stupid and irrevocable decisions.”—Robert O. Work, undersecretary of the Navy
The Joint Program Executive Office Joint Tactical Radio System (JPEO JTRS) has made its first major release of the Software Communications Architecture (SCA) in 10 years. This change updates a minor version released in 2005 and enables smaller, faster communications devices that cost less.
Quote of the Day:
“We may not be able to conduct our favorite American way of war in the future.”—Dick Diamond Jr., national security trends and strategic issues analyst, Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems
In an intelligence coup, G2 operatives were able to secure the New Year’s Resolutions of the infamous International Cyber Criminal (ICC).
A U.S. Naval Research Laboratory team recently tested an underwater acoustic laser capability that might one day provide a source of voice or data communications for submarines; navigational data for submarines or underwater robots; and sonar to locate mines or other objects in shallow water—all from an aircraft and without the need for hardware in the water.
The Allied Command Transformation’s virtual training game Boarders Ahoy! took home top honors at a showcase for the latest in modeling, simulation and virtual worlds. Developers say it’s just one step toward a more inexpensive and efficient way to prepare sailors and airmen for challenges in the field.
The Air Force Tactical Air Control Party is upgrading its Close Air Support System software and installing it on a wearable computer that is 75 percent lighter than the previous computers TACP teams used.
ARCON Corporation Product Announcement
Commercial satellite service providers question government’s dedication to president’s National Space Policy. While the policy calls for a stalwart pursuit of work with U.S. companies, little progress has been seen in putting this policy into practice.
The Defense Department budget efficiencies announced on January 6 by Secretary Robert Gates will generate program activity in electronic warfare (EW), intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), tactical communications and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), according to a department statement. These efficiencies, which would total more than $150 billion over the next five years, would be accomplished through personnel reductions, program extensions, consolidations and improved business practices.
The complexities of communications in Afghanistan require the military to adopt new ways of doing business, such as creating the Afghan Mission Network rather than using traditional networks, and turning communicators into warfighters rather than mere supporters. The Afghan Mission Network directly addresses the military’s operational need to mix coalition forces down to the company level, which provides commanders with greater flexibility in task organization and the ability to fight more effectively as a true coalition. That seemingly simple need has sparked a chain of events that may change forever the way coalition forces communicate on the battlefield and the role that communicators play in wartime.
Warfighters in current operations now have better intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance equipment at their fingertips as the result of a push from the highest levels of the U.S. Defense Department for rapid fielding. The equipment is providing more air and ground surveillance, improved intelligence, and greater network and data applications across the services and the coalition. Consequently, warfighters at all levels know and understand the combat situation and are able to make sound decisions more quickly.
Where have all the leaders gone? Gone to better opportunities every one; when will we ever learn, when will we ever learn. Who ever would have thought that the words from the popular protest song of the 1960s could be so relevant to the world of technology and leadership today?
In the real world, predicting the military’s requirements is not the work of soothsayers. Instead, it requires traditional and nontraditional defense contractors alike to keep their eyes wide open and their ears to the ground. If they plan to sell a solution to one or all of the armed services in the coming years, they had better be paying close attention today to technical gaps as well as wish lists. And although companies going after military and government business are similar in many ways, their approaches to garner that next big contract are often very different.
As we move into the New Year, I want to give you a sense of the AFCEA focus for 2011, and a request.
U.S. combat operations in Iraq may have come to an official end, but work in the country is far from over. U.S. troops are playing more and more supportive roles and, in some cases, acting as advisers. With the help of U.S. experts, the locals are taking over their own defense and law enforcement, putting the country on track to handle all problems internally in the near future.
Export controls of military-related materials long have been a bone of contention between government and industry, but 2010 ushered in an array of changes, with adjustments to current laws and talk of broader reform. Leaders of private-sector organizations have pushed hard for legal decision makers to simplify the sale of products to foreign entities so domestic companies can keep pace with overseas competitors. And though these industry personnel might sometimes label the governing agencies as obstacles, administrators of the law also want restructuring efforts to move forward.