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Education

Resource Reductions Dominate Planning

July 1, 2013
By Maryann Lawlor

Today’s financial skimping will lead to military forces and equipment that are short on readiness for future conflicts. Cutbacks in training and travel to conferences where service members network, learn about the latest in technologies and benefit from educational courses is one way to meet mandated budget cuts; but in the long term, they will result in service members who are ill-prepared to meet the challenges of what some believe will be a volatile future. Simultaneously, reductions in maintenance of vehicles, networks and ships will result in higher repair bills much like a car that is not routinely taken to the shop ends up costing the owner more to fix in the long run.

This was the general consensus of the military, government and industry experts who spoke at the East: Joint Warfighting 2013 conference at the Virginia Beach Convention Center in Virginia Beach, Virginia, in May. The participants represented all of the military services as well as the international community.

Adm. William E. Gortney, USN, commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, opened the event saying that the military and industry are facing a decade of change and choices. As the services are ramping down from combat mode, they are refocusing on the Pacific theater, which is more of an intellectual shift in Washington, D.C., than a military change, Adm. Gortney said. While resources are on the decline now, the admiral believes economics is and always has been a sine wave, up at times and down at others. The U.S. Defense Department’s budget will increase again, and the department must be ready. “The only way we’re going to get through this is to lead our way to the other side,” the admiral said.

In the Cyber Trenches

July 1, 2013
By Max Cacas

The Army adjusts its training and career path for cyber domain troops and leaders.

The U.S. Army is taking a successful model developed to train chief warrant officers in the realm of information assurance and is adapting it for qualified enlisted personnel and officers. Instead of reinventing the wheel, the program blends already-successful cybersecurity training designed for the private sector with training tailored for the Army’s mission-specific networks. The goal is to create a career path for what is expected to be a cadre of cyberspecialists whose primary goal is to protect and defend the service’s digital infrastructure.

“The Army realized that our networks were being constantly attacked, but we never realized it until after it had taken place,” says Joey Gaspard, chief, Information Assurance Branch, U.S. Army Signal Center at Fort Gordon, Georgia. He adds that in 2007, the service embarked on a program to match staffing and training to be more proactive about cybersecurity. “Instead of consistently sitting there, waiting to be hit, they decided to put themselves in a position where we looked at the training. Commercial industry was already training personnel to defend commercial organizations, so why couldn’t the Army do the same thing?”

In response to that question, the Army embarked on a re-examination of its military occupational specialty (MOS) categories, which describe every job at every rank within the Army. The Signal Center focused on the MOS pertaining to cybersecurity.

Business Model for an Interoperable World

June 17, 2013

In one of the latest additions to the SIGNAL Online Resource Library, RTI, a real-time infrastructure software company, shares its expertise about achieving interoperability in the realm of licensing and pricing policies for key system software. The white paper describes a new infrastructure community model that facilitates the development, integration and evolution of fully interoperable systems.

New Online Cybersecurity Training Initiative

June 17, 2013

AFCEA to offer 34 cybersecurity courses based on the U.S. federal government FedVTE through Carnegie Mellon University’s Software Engineering Institute.

 

Cyber Train as You Fight

June 1, 2013
By Max Cacas

The U.S. Army is making its facility at West Point the focus of a joint program with the other services, industry and academia, devoted to sharing advanced cybertraining and research. Training in the new cyber realm includes not only basic best practices concerning passwords and mobile device security but also advanced training in the latest network management protocols and technology for members of the Army’s Signal Corps.

Small Business Outreach Event

May 15, 2013

AFCEA International is hosting a presentation by Tony Constable, president, CAI/SISCo, at 4 p.m. on May 21, 2013, at AFCEA headquarters, Fairfax, Virginia. Constable will explain the fundamentals of Price To Win (PTW), his business development discipline that helps companies win contracts particularly in austere times.

With Government Training Hamstrung by Sequestration, Alternatives Appear

May 3, 2013
By Beverly Cooper

Budget sequestration has made obtaining government-mandated training more difficult—this despite government requirements that individuals earn continuing education units (CEUs) and certification maintenance units (CMUs)”to keep current in their professions. Many of the opportunities in the past were centered around large-scale, efficient training that could certify more people by bringing groups together. However, travel restrictions have complicated this centralized collaboration.

Many organizations and defense-related associations now are providing the training and education needed in unique ways at low or no cost as part of their missions in support of military and government. By using local conference formats, they can deliver the content needed for CEUs, and industry and government are able to maintain the essential dialogue that eliminates waste and leads to relevant and needed services and programs.

For example, through the Engagement Theater concept at the upcoming AFCEA-USNI East: Joint Warfighting in Virginia Beach, May 14 to 16, individuals can hear from preferred providers and other subject matter experts on topics that qualify for CEUs. The Cyber Theater offers CompTIA CEUs through Cypherpath LLC. Several panels at the conference offer CEUs as well, including one at 10 a.m. on May 14 called, “A Contested Environment: How Do We Provide Effective Command and Control to Operators?” An individual can attend the panel and Engagement Theater without cost.

EPIC Speaker Series Explores Intelligence and Congress

April 15, 2013

The Emerging Professionals in Intelligence Committee (EPIC), one of AFCEA’s services to young professionals, sponsors its first speaker series event that will delve into congressional funding practices.

MILCOM Call for Papers Deadline Extended

April 15, 2013

The deadline for submitting technical papers drafts, tutorial proposals and panel proposals for MILCOM ’13 is now April 30, 2013, and the requirement for submitting abstracts has been eliminated.

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