Years of exercises between the Philippine and U.S. militaries helped both countries work together in the massive rescue effort after the Asian nation was devastated recently by a typhoon. The U.S. effort, designated Operation Damayan, featured effective coordination amid a sterling execution by the Philippine military, according to U.S. military officers.
The U.S. Pacific Command needs effective intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) assets to address its increasing mission activities, according to the command’s deputy commander. Lt. Gen. Thomas L. Conant, USMC, was blunt in his assessment to the audience at the opening breakfast at TechNet Asia-Pacific 2013 in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Any future U.S. military network architecture must accommodate allies, or it will not work for the vast Asia-Pacific region. Operations from humanitarian aid to military conflict will involve partners, and their effective participation will depend on access to U.S. networks.
U.S. forces may be over relying on cyber to meet challenges in the Asia-Pacific region at a time when potential adversaries view it as a key to disrupting U.S. operations, according to the top leaders of the U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM). Lt. Gen. Thomas L. Conant, USMC, deputy commander of PACOM, offered that U.S. forces must expect to operate without at least some of their cyber assets in a time of conflict.
North Korea’s growing missile and nuclear capabilities “keep us awake at night,” according to the deputy commander of the U.S. Pacific Command. Lt. Gen. Thomas L. Conant, USMC, warned that the communist government’s recent developments pose a much greater threat to peace and security than traditionally offered.
Two pictures have taken up residence in my mind over the past few weeks. They highlight the growing disconnect between the U.S. Defense Department and the broader strategic environment—not just in terms of geopolitics but also in the way the rest of the world lives, works and interacts.
A new destroyer being deployed by China offers improvements in technology that rival those of the newest destroyers being built for the U.S. Navy. Its advances include phased array radars and improved missiles and launch systems. With room to grow, this ship seems destined to play a significant role in naval operations.
Exelis Inc., Fort Wayne, Ind., is being awarded a $7,028,919 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the procurement of up to 62 radar signal simulators in support of the MH-60R and S70-B aircraft for the U.S Navy (33), the government of Australia (27), and the government of Brazil (2) under the foreign military sales program. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Lakehurst, N.J., is the contracting activity (N68335-14-D-0005).
Pacific Architects and Engineers Applied Technologies, Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded a $44,577,164 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the development, testing, and installation of the SureTrak Surveillance System for the U.S. Navy, U.S.
In coordination with Joint Task Force 505, the George Washington Strike Group is assisting the Philippine government in ongoing efforts in response to super Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda in the Republic of the Philippines.
Cubic Defense Applications Inc., San Diego, Calif., has been awarded a $24,999,949 firm-fixed-price contract for foreign military sales P5Combat Training System (P5CTS), combined hardware buy. Contractor will provide P5CTS hardware to provide an instrumented training capability that increases, maintains, and assesses combat proficiency in the following mission areas: counter air, close air support, strategic attack, air interdiction, and electronic combat.
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc., Poway, Calif., has been awarded a not-to-exceed $27,607,349 undefinitized contract action delivery order (0113) for an existing basic ordering agreement (FA8620-10-G-3038) for France's MQ-9 Unmanned Air System Contractor Logistics Support Phase I program. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Medium Altitude Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity.
AAI Corp., Hunt Valley, Md., was awarded a cost-plus-incentive-fee, option-included contract with a maximum value of $126,262,568 to provide logistics and operational support services to the Army and Marine Corps for Shadow tactical unmanned aircraft systems. A portion of this contract includes foreign military sales in support of Australia. Work will performed in Afghanistan. The Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-14-C-0001).
Lockheed Martin will continue to support a tethered aerostat-based system that provides real-time, around-the-clock reconnaissance and surveillance for warfighters in Afghanistan.
L3-Kollmorgen Corp., Northampton, Mass., was awarded a $10,970,754 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-11-C-5447), for the fiscal 2013 MK 20 Electro-Optical Sensor System units including the associated equipment, services and emergent provisioned item order for spares requirements and level-of-effort engineering services.
It has been less than two years since the president and the secretary of defense released the latest strategic defense guidance, titled, “Sustaining U.S. Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense.” A key tenet of this guidance was a strategic rebalance toward the Asia-Pacific region. This guidance acknowledged the ongoing threat in the Middle East and South Asia, but it also postulated that the threat capability had been reduced there. It also made the case that, “U.S. economic and security interests are inextricably linked to developments in the arc extending from the Western Pacific and East Asia into the Indian Ocean region and South Asia, creating a mix of evolving challenges and opportunities”—hence the rebalance.
The U.S. Pacific Command intelligence community is fostering an increased dialogue between China and other nations with interests in the Pacific Rim. The expanded effort is designed to build trust, avoid misunderstandings and improve cooperation in areas where China’s national interests converge with the national interests of the United States and others.
Legacy communications are underpinning new capabilities as the U.S. Army Pacific works to upgrade its systems before obsolescence defeats innovation. The new technologies and systems that will define U.S. military networking are beginning to reach across the Defense Department’s largest theater of operations. Yet, budgetary constraints are hindering implementation of new capabilities, and the existing systems that form the foundation of theater networking badly need upgrades before they begin to give out.
People, not technology, are still the greatest advantages or inhibitors in the world of military interoperability. For NATO, bringing together the right humans has enabled amazing advancements during the last five years, but it has also caused confrontations delaying momentum in certain cases.
The signal brigade in charge of U.S. Army communications in the Republic of Korea is incorporating new technologies and capabilities with one eye on ensuring success and the other eye on the hostile neighbor to the north. System improvements such as the advanced Warfighter Information Network-Tactical, voice over Internet protocol and a Korean theater version of the Joint Information Environment are designed to give allied forces a significant edge should war break out.