Event Coverage

February 10, 2015
By Robert K. Ackerman

Special operations forces (SOFs) have become so essential to military mission success that they should be incorporated into conventional force plans, according to a Marine Corps general. Lt. Gen. David H. Berger, USMC, commanding general, I Marine Expeditionary Force, explained how this would work to the audience at a Tuesday morning panel at West 2015, being held in San Diego, February 10-12.

Gen. Berger explained that the traditional paradigm would have SOFs conduct operations and then hand off the mission to conventional forces. But now, the better approach would be for SOFs and conventional forces to work concurrently.

February 10, 2015
By Robert K. Ackerman

Lasers, railguns and unmanned underwater vehicles are just a few of the new capabilities the U.S. Defense Department is counting on to overcome advances pursued by potential adversaries. Both short- and long-term capabilities likely will feature a blend of commercial and military technologies, according to a senior Defense Department official.

Robert O. Work, deputy secretary of defense, described some of these technologies to the Tuesday morning audience at West 2015, being held in San Diego, February 10-12. Work stated that the military will see many potentially game-changing technologies over the long term.

February 10, 2015
By Robert K. Ackerman

Needing a new long-range anti-ship missile, the U.S. Navy has configured a Tomahawk cruise missile to perform that role. The service saved a large amount of scarce funding in adapting an existing system instead of developing a new one, stated a high-ranking defense official.

February 10, 2015
By Robert K. Ackerman

The U.S. military will need several years to reset and rebuild its military following the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, said the deputy secretary of defense. Robert O. Work told the Tuesday morning audience at West 2015, being held in San Diego, February 10-12, that the original plans for a two- to three-year reset will not work because of continuing global conflicts and commitments.

“This past year has shown us we cannot be ready for just one thing,” Work said, reflecting on the many changes and crises that have emerged. “We’re doing a running reset—building the airplane while it’s flying.”

February 10, 2015
By Robert K. Ackerman

The United States is losing the defense technology advantage it has held since World War II, and that development could have ramifications far beyond the battlespace. Both deterrence and commitments from allies could be affected if the United States does not reverse that trend, according to a high-ranking Defense Department official.

February 10, 2015
By Robert K. Ackerman

Returning the defense budget to sequestration levels “would be a disaster,” according to a senior defense official. Robert O. Work, deputy secretary of defense, outlined the consequences of this budget approach for the Tuesday morning audience at West 2015, being held in San Diego, February 10-12.

December 11, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman
Lt. Gen. James McLaughlin, USAF, deputy commander, U.S. Cyber Command, describes some of the solutions being pursued to protect networks against cyber attack.

TechNet Asia-Pacific 2014

The SIGNAL Magazine Online Show Daily

Day 2

Quote of the Day:

“It is as if I’m building an F-22 squadron with a bunch of new lieutenants who’ve just shown up and have been checked out in the F-22. You don’t have combat capability just because you have people who have passed their initial training.”—Lt. Gen. James McLaughlin, USAF, deputy commander, U.S. Cyber Command

 

December 11, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

The economic and military superiority brought about by technological innovation may be disappearing sooner than most people expect. Other countries are educating their students in the very fields the United States used to dominate, and potential rivals are focusing on eliminating the U.S. military’s technological edge.

Adm. Harry B. Harris, USN, commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, warned of this process on the final day of TechNet Asia-Pacific 2014, being held December 9-11 in Honolulu. He described how limitations and distractions have inhibited progress that might have kept the U.S. technology lead secure.

December 11, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

The United States will find it harder to maintain its technological edge in times of fiscal uncertainty and severe budget constraints, said a leading military figure. So, it will need to be innovative about continuing to generate innovation for the foreseeable future.

Speaking on the final day of TechNet Asia-Pacific 2014, being held December 9-11 in Honolulu, Adm. Harry B. Harris, USN, commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, emphasized the importance of innovation in maintaining U.S. military superiority.

December 11, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman
Adm. Harry B. Harris, USN, commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, discusses the need for innovation to maintain U.S. superiority after receiving the text of his speech from a remote controlled drone.

TechNet Asia-Pacific 2014

The SIGNAL Magazine Online Show Daily

Day 3

Quote of the Day:

“I believe America should always bring a gun to a knife fight ... not a butter knife.”—Adm. Harry B. Harris, USN, commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet.

 

The U.S. lead in military technology is too great, not enough or disappearing, depending on which expert is speaking. And, all three statements might be accurate in their own ways.

December 11, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

The growing technology gap between U.S. forces and their allies and partners could be addressed in part by having allies help establish standards for new systems. The gap, caused by advancing technology progress in U.S. forces, threatens coalition operations by leaving less advanced nations unable to interoperate with their U.S. counterparts.

December 11, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

Australia is a key toward successful implementation of the U.S. pivot to the Pacific, according to the commander of U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific. Yet despite a longtime military relationship between the two allies, U.S. forces must be careful as they build their presence there, he added.

December 11, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific is looking for smaller, lighter communications and networking gear as it returns to its roots as an amphibious force, their commander offers. Lt. Gen. John A. Toolan, USMC, said that new capabilities for assured interoperable networking must be balanced against size and weight limitations for the rapidly deployable force.

December 11, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

Warfighting may be serious business, but game playing has its place. Lt. Gen. John A. Toolan, USMC, commander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific, told that to some young junior reserve officer training corps students attending TechNet Asia-Pacific 2014, being held December 9-11 in Honolulu.

Urging them to consider a life in the military, he said the service needs the 19-year-old’s smartphone mentality. He also told them to continue their game playing as an introduction to the future that will help the military when they enter it.

“You young folks … keep playing “Call of Duty”—it’s important,” the general said.

December 11, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

Being able to respond and adapt to changes in combat conditions is as important in cyberspace as it is in the battlespace. Forces must train for changes amid contested environments in cyberspace as they do in conventional battle.

This point was raised in a panel on assured interoperability on the final day of TechNet Asia-Pacific 2014, being held December 9-11 in Honolulu. Panel moderator Rear Adm. Nancy Norton, USN, J-6, U.S. Pacific Command, emphasized the need for maneuver warfare in cyberspace.

December 10, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

The new social media technologies, as well as old ones such as email, do not work as well as face-to-face communications for leaders reaching their workers, according to a panel of military and civilian leaders. The Leadership/Young AFCEANs panel on day two of TechNet Asia-Pacific 2014, being held in Honolulu December 9-11, explored many facets of successful and failed leadership.

All the panelists agreed that leaders who rely on digital means as their primary method of communication are shorting their workers. Email in particular came in for harsh criticism.

December 10, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

An emerging capabilities coordination cell (EC3) is the mechanism by which the U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC) seeks to incorporate commercial innovation to meet its mission needs. The EC3 approach is integrated with overall Army plans to upgrade the force over the next 11 years.

December 10, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

A new system finally may enable high-level information sharing among coalition partners by eliminating fears that the wrong partners might access another partner’s valuable data. The Regional Domain Awareness joint concept technology demonstration would allow unclassified information sharing with built-in access control.

December 10, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

Even when interoperability challenges are not technical in nature, technology can help overcome the problems. Using cognitive interoperability may allow personnel to avoid thorny cultural issues that plague many attempts at interoperability.

December 10, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

The virtual landscape and ongoing technology trends favor cyber attackers throughout the digital realm. And, that imbalance is likely to worsen as more state players exploit new capabilities for inflicting severe damage through cyberspace.

This issue was explored by a panel on cyber and intelligence on day two of TechNet Asia-Pacific 2014, being held in Honolulu December 9-11. All the panelists agreed that the deck is stacked in favor of cybermarauders, and that situation is likely to worsen.

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