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Event Coverage

Obsolete Acquisition Policies Threaten U.S. Technological Superiority

August 6, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

Major changes in defense acquisition no longer are desirable—they are essential if the United States is to maintain an effective military in a time of increasing threats and decreasing resources. Already the United States is trailing several allies technologically, and potential adversaries are hard at work developing technologies that threaten U.S. force superiority.

Defense Acquisition Modernization Symposium Workshop Synopses

August 5, 2014

Read a full recap of each workshop held during day one of the AFCEA Defense Acquisition Modernization Symposium August 5-6 in Washington, D.C.

True Incentives May Be Key to Improving Defense Acquisition

August 5, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

More specific requirements and better incentives could produce better products at reduced costs, said a leading U.S. Defense Department official. Frank Kendall III, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, explained that adjusting the contracting process could produce at least some desired results in acquisition.

Event Encourages Feedback on Better Buying Power and Acquisition Challenges

July 31, 2014

The inaugural Defense Acquisition Modernization Symposium, hosted by AFCEA International, highlights “Better Buying Power” as it applies to government, industry and academia. Government and industry leaders will provide attendees with myriad solutions, updates and exchanges.

Cybersecurity Challenges Vex Planners, Responders

August 1, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

The price of failure to provide adequate cybersecurity ultimately may be too high for any nation to tolerate. Yet, the cost of effective cybersecurity may be too much for a nation to afford.

Government, Industry Network at TechNet International 2014

July 1, 2014
By Mandy Rizzo

Cyber, defense technology, coalition interoperability, NATO contracting opportunities and Ukraine were among the topics discussed at the NATO Industry Conference and TechNet International 2014, held in Bucharest, Romania. For the third time, the NATO Communications and Information Agency and AFCEA Europe organized a joint conference and exposition. The two organizations generated a program with an agenda of truly intertwined sessions relevant to all.

Romania was the host nation of this event, and the NATO Communications and Information (NCI) Agency and AFCEA Europe benefited from direct support from the Romania Ministry of Defense. This year also marked the 10th anniversary of Romania’s accession to NATO. The level of the conference and access to special venues, as well as the presence of high-ranking officials, could not have been attained without the ministry’s generous support.

A major element of this event was its networking opportunities. More than 30 representatives from the NCI Agency explained contracting opportunities with NATO during breakout sessions and basic ordering agreement (BOA) processes in the dedicated BOA’s meeting room as well as during the entire conference. The exposition featured 34 exhibitors participating in the conference, focusing on the theme “From Assets to Services—Capability Delivery in the 21st Century.” Having officials speaking directly with industry representatives on a one-on-one basis and answering real-life situational questions that address their particular questions and challenges turned out to be key to the event.

Necessity Drives Joint Information Environment

July 1, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

The shrinking military cannot achieve mission success without the advances promised by the Joint Information Environment, U.S. Defense Department leaders say. Yet the effort itself depends on innovative advances that may lead to changes in doctrine and operations if—and when—they are incorporated into the force.

No clear technology or architecture has emerged to define the JIE. While the military has a goal in mind, it also recognizes that information technologies and capabilities are evolving faster than planners can predict. The commercial sector, which could serve as a fount of ideas for defense networking, itself is structuring its strategies to accommodate unforeseen changes. Different parts of the defense and intelligence communities have their own nonnegotiable requirements for JIE participation.

Different organizations and disciplines strive to break down silos and give the Defense Department its JIE. Leading defense communicators agree that the force cannot prevail in future operations without a single information environment, but they must ensure that it does not ignore the specific needs of some individual elements within the defense community.

Many of these issues were discussed at AFCEA’s three-day JIE Mission Partner Symposium held May 12-14 in Baltimore. Overflow crowds heard speakers and panelists from government, the military and industry discuss the need for the JIE and the challenges that stand in the way of its implementation.

U.S. military forces will not be able to pursue operational goals successfully unless the JIE is implemented, according to a member of the Joint Staff. Lt. Gen. Mark S. Bowman, J-6, The Joint Staff, was unambiguous in his assessment of the JIE’s importance.

Cyber Not Ready for Service Designation

June 25, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

The growing call for an independent U.S. cyber service along the lines of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps is not likely to gain followers among policy makers, say a number of service cyber officers.

Different Circumstances, Different Approaches Define Cybersecurity Thrust

June 25, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

No single solution, no single course of action, no single training regimen exists for combating cybermarauders on the Internet. Cyber officials are striving to establish guidelines for cybersecurity, yet they acknowledge that every organization in every nation has varying needs and must pursue different tracks to achieve what they determine is effective cybersecurity.

Defense Department Looks for Youth Movement in Cyber

June 25, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

The acting chief information officer (CIO) for the U.S. Defense Department is promoting a diversity movement for information technology. He wants to see a younger work force that includes people who have come of age in the digital era.

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