When the U.S. Marines needed to set up an emergency communications system on site in the wake of the devastating typhoon that ravaged the Philippines in November, they used an existing rapid deployment networking suite, which allowed nearly instant links with the two governments and with nongovernmental organizations as well. And, it all began with equipment carried into theater as if it were checked baggage.
The retrograde of equipment from Afghanistan requires a monumental effort after almost 13 years of war and an influx of billions of dollars’ worth of materiel to the country. To return the necessary pieces along with personnel from the landlocked location, logisticians around the military are developing creative solutions that offer redundancy. Plans are progressing more smoothly than in Iraq, as experts apply lessons learned and a hub-and-spoke model that allows for a controlled collapsing of installations.
AFCEA Europe’s TechNet International 2013, held at the Lisbon Congress Center, Portugal, on October 23 and 24, was organized under the patronage of the minister of national defense, Portugal, in cooperation with the NATO Communications and Information (NCI) Agency and with the support of the AFCEA Portugal Chapter. This event, which was run under the theme “Go Connected + Go Smart = Zero Distance,” brought together more than 300 experts from NATO, government, academia and industry.
Raytheon Co., Integrated Defense Systems, Sudbury, Mass., has been awarded a $6,896,385 modification (P0005) on an existing cost-plus-fixed-fee, firm-fixed-price, cost-reimbursement contract (FA8730-13-C-0003) for the Taiwan Surveillance Radar program follow-on support string upgrade engineering change proposal. The contract modification provides a continental United States sustainment string upgrade that creates a controlled site-like testing environment for build deployment and system troubleshooting at the continental United States development facili
Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Linthicum Heights, Md., was awarded a $65,288,028 contract modification (P00037) to contract W15P7T-11-C-H267 for continued operations and sustainment of the vehicle and dismount exploitation radar (VADER) currently deployed in theater. Work will be performed at Linthicum Heights, Md., Hagerstown, Md., and Afghanistan. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal (Aviation), Ala., is the contracting activity.
General Atomics Aeronautical, Poway, Calif., was awarded an $110,453,269 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for continuing logistic services to the Warrior unmanned aircraft system. Fiscal 2014 operations and maintenance, Army funds in the amount of $8,000,000 were obligated at the time of the award. Work will be performed in Afghanistan and Poway, Calif. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal (Aviation), Ala., is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-14-C-0008).
The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Mo., is being awarded an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract with an estimated ceiling-price of $872,766,714 for system upgrades for F/A-18 A/B, C/D, E/F and EA-18G aircraft for the U.S. Navy and the governments of Australia, Finland, Switzerland, Kuwait, Malaysia, and Canada. This contract provides for deliverables and services based on system configuration set life cycle phases for the aircraft. This contract combines purchases for the U.S.
QinetiQ North America has announced that its TALON military robots will provide explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) mission support to Pakistan’s military forces. The latest $7.8 million order was facilitated by the U.S. Navy and follows previous orders from Pakistan for EOD robots.
With the new Joint Information Environment looming as the basis for networking across the force, planners must consider how to add coalition allies and nontraditional partners. Establishing communities of interest may be the answer.
Cyber has provided the means for rapidly assembling and operating military coalitions in the post-Cold-War era. Now, the very nature of the domain may require coalitions to save it from a growing menu of threats. These threats can range from annoying hackers to organized crime to malicious nation-states and even geopolitical movements to restrict the flow of ideas. While the panoply of perils is diverse, the actions to defend against them may have to spring from the well of government and organizational cooperation.
South Korea didn't merely react when it suffered two extensive cyber attacks earlier this year. It established a national cyber policy and formed a government/military/commercial partnership to protect against future intrusions.
The best intentions among international cyber experts may be foiled simply because they don't understand each other's cultural differences. Priorities and even the way of thinking can inhibit progress without cyber experts even realizing it.
The national laws that ensure freedom in modern democracies are preventing effective international cybersecurity measures. Hackers hide behind borders as they ply their malice around the world, and authorities are hard-pressed to reach them.
Maintaining Internet security--and ensuring its continued freedom--likely will depend on like-minded nations forming coalitions that help formulate international regulations and rules of governance.
The networking assembled for the emergency Philippine typhoon response broke new ground in connectivity among governments and relief organizations. However, it also opened the door to sabotage by cybermarauders.
Australia has implemented a cybersecurity policy that brings together government and industry to secure the domain nationally. The country recently elevated cybersecurity as a major priority for national security, and in 2009, it established a Cyber Security Operations Center (CSOC).
Now that allied forces have accepted coalitions as a requisite for future military operations, they must undergo a cultural sea change for cybersecurity. Accepting nontraditional partners demands a new way of viewing cybersecurity that entails greater flexibility at its most philosophical level.
An evolving mission network connecting U.S. and Australian forces is being expanded to include other trusted allies with an eye toward adding coalition partner nations. The network is built around a risk-managed approach for sensitive information sharing.
Quote of the Day:
"If you allow the United States to operate out of sanctuary, we will beat the crap out of you." - Lt. Gen. Stanley T. Kresge, USAF, vice commander, U.S. Pacific Air Forces, addressing potential adversaries
U.S. Pacific Command military leaders agree that any future operation will be conducted amid a coalition, and partner countries must be networked. However, that networking opens the possibility for greatly increased network vulnerabilities as less-secure nations provide weak links for network security.