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July 2012

Challenges Emerge Reinventing the Joint Forces Command Network

July 2012
By Robert K. Ackerman, SIGNAL Magazine

When the U.S. Joint Forces Command was disestablished nearly a year ago, transitioning its network proved more complicated than just flipping a switch—or even what was anticipated in various scenarios. Experts found that the nature of the command’s disestablishment brought to light significant incompatibilities in Defense Department networks.

The Army Maneuvers Back to the United States

July 2012
By Robert K. Ackerman, SIGNAL Magazine

The wind-down of U.S. Army combat operations, along with the re-balance in national military priority toward the Asia-Pacific region, is forcing a shift as well as a surge in Army networking. The service must continue to modernize the network to meet growing capability demands, but it also must adapt its architecture to accommodate major changes in force deployments and missions.

Smartphones Become Smart Radios

July 2012
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Magazine

Researchers at the Communications Research Centre Canada have proved the feasibility of running public-safety Joint Tactical Radio Network Software Communications Architecture on mobile devices. They successfully accessed three different first-responder frequencies with less modification and effort than expected.

Computer Controls Boost Helicopters

July 2012
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Magazine

Rotorcraft are following the flight path of their fixed-wing counterparts as the U.S. Army advances a program to digitize controls.

Budgets, Security Mean Big Changes

July 2012
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Magazine

Cloud, mobility and consolidation are growing in importance within the military information technology community and for its private-industry partners. Lt. Gen. Ronnie D. Hawkins, USAF, director, Defense Information Systems Agency, spoke about his organization’s efforts in those areas such as a major project migrating defense network users to an enterprise email system. In 18 months, 390,000 U.S. Army personnel have made the transition.

Smart Defence

July 2012
By Kent R. Schneider, SIGNAL Magazine

"Smart Defence" is a NATO concept and policy that involves national burden-sharing on a broad range of developments, including information technology and cybersecurity. The European Union has a parallel initiative called Pooling and Sharing, and it similarly is aimed at sharing the cost of critical infrastructure. All of this, of course, is driven by the need to modernize, coupled with the global economic crisis, which has reduced defense and security budgets dramatically.

Army Mobile Network Poised for Combat

July 2012
By George I. Seffers, SIGNAL Magazine

In the coming months, the U.S. Army will begin fielding components of its first integrated mobile network to units headed to Afghanistan. The equipment package known as Capability Set 13 will provide integrated voice and data throughout the brigade combat team. It also will offer on-the-move and beyond-line-of-sight communications, which could transform combat operations.

The Defense Department Must Account for its Information Technology Silos

July 2012
By Paul A. Strassmann, SIGNAL Magazine

Among many definitions, the Oxford dictionary defines a silo as a process that operates in isolation. In the U.S. Defense Department, everyone works in separate components. Computer silos have proliferated with the availability of a huge number of customized information technology solutions.

The Mobile Evolution Becomes a Revolution

July 2012
By Max Cacas, SIGNAL Magazine

Smartphones and tablet computers increasingly are replacing desktop and laptop personal computers as on-the-job tools of choice in the federal government. Such a change not only presents opportunities to improve efficiency and productivity among federal workers, but it also creates information technology management and data security challenges for those who oversee the digital resources of agencies.

Government Charts a Mobile Course

July 2012
By Max Cacas, SIGNAL Magazine

Federal officials are confronting a burgeoning expansion of mobile platforms as they strive to deliver information efficiently. Public demand for mobile delivery continues to grow, and so do the types of devices that must be served, providing the latest challenge for government leadership.

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