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International

Coalition Operations Pose Significant Information Security Challenges

December 3, 2013
By Robert K. Ackerman

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.

Exercises Prepared U.S. Military for Philippine Typhoon Response

December 3, 2013
By Robert K. Ackerman

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.

Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Capabilities Loom Large for Pacific Command

December 3, 2013
By Robert K. Ackerman

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.

Coalition Allies Must Access PACOM Networks

December 3, 2013
By Robert K. Ackerman

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.

Cyber Looms as a Serious Asia-Pacific Theater Vulnerability

December 3, 2013
By Robert K. Ackerman

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 Korean Threat Increases Uncertainty

December 3, 2013
By Robert K. Ackerman

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.

Embrace Uncertainty, Win the Future

December 1, 2013
By Lt. Ben Kohlmann, USN

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.

The first image captures how the Defense Department views the world. It is a simple map with neat lines delineating the different joint combatant commands. While the boundaries make sense in a conventional way, they are drawn merely for geographic convenience. Implicitly, those lines preclude interaction between constituent elements.

The second image is elegant, beautiful and haunting in its complexity. It is an image of the world as it actually is—interconnected, unbounded by geography, spanning the globe with dynamic diversity. This image was the project of Paul Butler, a Facebook intern whose curiosity led him to an interesting project: visualize the relationships for 10 million of the 250 million users on Facebook in 2009. He plotted not only the location of the Facebook user but also more critically the location of each of their friends. This second image is the result.

Each “line” represents the flow of goods, information, ideas and relationships, unbounded by traditional geography. Consider too, the many geopolitical implications inset in the image. For instance, China lacks much “light.” As China is the most populated country in the world, one would expect a beautiful montage of light and lines. Instead, China’s strict Internet controls leave it relatively dark and disconnected.

China Destroyer Consolidates Innovations, Other Ship Advances

December 1, 2013
By James C. Bussert

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 to Provide Radar Simulators to Australia and Brazil

November 22, 2013

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).

Firm to Provide Surveillance System for U.S. and African Nations

November 22, 2013

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. Air Force, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and governments in Africa under the foreign military sales program. The SureTrak System is a state-of-the-art, fully integrated, multi-sensor, data acquisition and display system used for airspace surveillance, waterway clearance, shoreline surveillance, and environmental monitoring functions. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity (N00421-14-D-0001).

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