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Spectrum Management System Deploying to Afghanistan

July 11, 2013
By George I. Seffers

The U.S. Army is currently delivering a new and improved Coalition Joint Spectrum Management and Planning Tool (CJSMPT) to divisions scheduled for deployment in Afghanistan. The software automates the spectrum management process, dramatically reducing the amount of time and paperwork associated with spectrum allocation and mission planning in a tactical environment.

For operational security reasons, Army officials cannot reveal exactly which divisions will be receiving the systems or when, but for the next few months, they will be working to get the system out to Afghanistan.

Warfighters are continually confronted with an increasingly crowded radio spectrum—too many devices transmitting on a limited range of frequencies and interfering with one another. Poor spectrum availability can have a devastating effect on operations, and spectrum management normally is a complex and time-consuming process involving frequency access requests that must be approved at multiple levels. “There’s a lot of paperwork associated with the spectrum management process. There are thousands of these [requests] that have to be prepared, submitted, received and reconciled down at the brigade level. Normally, this could take days or even weeks in preparation for a mission or deployment, and CJSMPT can do this in a matter of hours. It provides automation to the spectrum manager to reduce the complexity of his tasks,” says Bob Shields, chief of the Spectrum Analysis and Frequency Management Branch, Space and Terrestrial Communications Directorate, U.S. Army Communications-Electronic Research, Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC), Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland.

EDO Supports Unmanned Maritime Systems

July 8, 2013
George I. Seffers

 
EDO Professional Services Inc., Alexandria, Va., is being awarded a $22,120,993 modification to a previously awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for continued technical services in support of Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific (SSC Pacific) unmanned maritime systems performing fleet mine countermeasures and force protection. Services will include engineering, logistics, configuration management, research, depot maintenance, system administration and tactical and strategic management. Work will be performed in Manama, Bahrain and San Diego, Calif., and work is expected to be completed by July 22, 2014. Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific, San Diego, Calif., is the contracting activity. 

Leonie Industries to Provide Information Operations Support in Afghanistan

July 8, 2013
George I. Seffers

 
Leonie Industries LLC, Pacific Palisades, Calif., was awarded a $48,852,000 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price, option-filled, multi-year contract for media and marketing services in support of the Information Operations Task Force-Afghanistan. The cumulative total face value of this contract is $173,541,529. Work will be performed in Afghanistan, with an estimated completion date of Feb. 5, 2014. The Army Contracting Command, Rock Island, Ill., is the contracting activity.

Lockheed Martin to Support United Arab Emirates Enhanced Launcher

July 3, 2013
George I. Seffers

Lockheed Martin Corp., Grand Prairie, Texas, was awarded a $37,375,568 modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-fixed-fee, foreign military sales contract for services in support of the enhanced launcher electronic station cost reduction initiatives. This Foreign Military Sales contract is in support of United Arab Emirates. The Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity. 

DRS to Provide Border Surveillance System to Egypt

July 3, 2013
George I. Seffers

DRS Radar Systems, Horsham, Pa., was awarded a firm-fixed-price, multi-year, foreign military sales contract with a maximum value of $8,105,505 for the procurement of a border surveillance system.  This Foreign Military Sales contract is in support of Egypt. The Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., is the contracting activity. 

Joint Information Environment Serves Five Eye Nations

June 26, 2013
By George I. Seffers

Cyber Symposium 2013 Online Show Daily, Day 2

The Joint Information Environment (JIE) took center stage during the second day of the AFCEA International Cyber Symposium in Baltimore. The conference devoted one full panel to the joint environment, but presenters throughout the day stressed the JIE’s importance to the future of the U.S. military and coalition partners, discussed some of the challenges to achieving the vision and vowed that the department will make it happen despite any remaining obstacles.

The JIE is not a program and does not have a budget, some presenters pointed out. It is, instead, a construct what will eventually consolidate all of the Defense Department’s networks into one single, global network, improving interoperability, increasing operational efficiency, enhancing situational awareness and ultimately saving costs.

The United States has been working with the so-called “five eye” nations—which also include Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom—to implement a Joint Information Environment capability, Lt. Gen. Mark Bowman, U.S. Army director for command, control, communications and computers for the joint staff, told the audience. The five countries have agreed to share intelligence.

Gen. Bowman described the tactical end of JIE as the Mission Partner Environment. The Mission Partner Environment is essentially the same thing as the Afghan Future Network, which is the preferred terminology within NATO. “We’ve been working this hardest with the five eyes, and we have come up with a system that we’re using today so that we can exchange email and files from our national secret network to their national secret networks,” Gen. Bowman reported. “We just started that this past year. It’s a resounding success, it continues to grow, and we’re putting the rigor into it. That’s the way we need to run forward. We can’t be designing a new network.”

United States to Continue Cyber Dialogue With China in July

June 25, 2013
By George I. Seffers

The United States will continue to develop a bilateral relationship with China regarding cybersecurity issues. In fact, the two countries will meet again in Washington, D.C., on July 8th, according to Maj. Gen. John Davis, USA, senior military advisor to the undersecretary of defense—policy for cyber, Office of the Secretary of Defense. Gen. Davis, the luncheon keynote speaker on the first day of the July 24-27 AFCEA International Cyber Symposium in Baltimore, said the United States recognizes China as a rising power and a major voice in the cyber arena.

High-ranking officials from State Department, Defense Department and other agencies, have been engaged in bilateral, multi-lateral and international forums such as the United Nations and NATO. “As an example, of a critical bilateral relationship, I had the great honor to travel to China twice in the last year and engage as part of a collective U.S. academic and government interagency forum with counterpart Chinese academic and government organizations,” Gen. Davis said.

“U.S. senior government officials across the agencies have been actively engaging their Chinese government counterparts, including the People’s Liberation Army, in a number of ways already, and we would like to see those engagements expand,” Gen. Davis reported. “I had the opportunity to personally encourage a more direct military-to-military relationship with China in a serious effort to help our two nation’s militaries better understand each other, to reduce misconceptions, to reduce misinterpretations and ultimately, to reduce the chance of mistakes that can happen in cyberspace and perhaps spill over into the physical domains.”

ThalesRaytheonSystems to Upgrade NATO Missile Defense Capabilities

June 24, 2013
George I. Seffers

 
The NATO Communications and Information Agency signed with ThalesRaytheonSystems a 136 million Euro ($177,969,630 U.S.) contract for a significant upgrade to NATO’s current theatre missile defense command and control capability. By bringing new capabilities to NATO’s Air Command and Control System (ACCS), the upgrade will strengthen and expand NATO’s existing theatre missile defence command and control system, which allows the alliance to link national sensors and interceptors to defend against short and medium range ballistic missile threats. The upgrade also improves the capacity of NATO’s Air Command in Ramstein to plan and execute a missile defence battle. The contract, called ACCS Theatre Missile Defence 1, will bring new capabilities to NATO’s Air Command and Control System for receiving and processing ballistic missile tracks, including integration of additional radar and satellite feeds, major enhancement to data communication capacity and improved correlation features. The upgrade is expected to be completed by 2015.

Lockheed Supports Aegis Radar for Six Nations

June 21, 2013
George I. Seffers

 
Lockheed Martin Corp., Mission Systems and Training, Moorestown, N.J., is being awarded a $6,872,082 cost-plus-incentive-fee, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to provide technical engineering, configuration management, associated equipment/supplies, quality assurance, information assurance and other operation and maintenance efforts required for the Aegis development and test sites, including the Combat Systems Engineering Development Site, SPY-1A Test Facility and the Naval Systems Computing Center. This contract contains options, which if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $304,402,466. This contract combines purchases for the U.S. Navy and the governments of Japan, Korea, Spain, Norway and Australia under the Foreign Military Sales program. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity. 

Smartronix to Support Cyber Operations in Four Countries

June 21, 2013
George I. Seffers

 
Smartronix Inc., Hollywood, Md., is being awarded a $17,009,473 firm-fixed-price contract with cost reimbursable, contract line items, for cyber operations support. This contract provides for program management, knowledge and information assurance management, network operations and maintenance, help desk and engineering support services at Quantico, Va., Camp Pendleton, Calif., and various Marine Corps detachments inside and outside the continental United States. This contract contains two option periods, which if exercised, would bring the maximum dollar value to $39,989,046.  Work will be performed primarily within Quantico, Va.; Camp Pendleton, Calif.; Camp Lejeune, N.C.; Okinawa, Japan; Stuttgart, Germany; New Orleans, La.; Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii; Kansas City, Mo.; and Seoul, Korea, with an expected completion date of June 29, 2014. The Regional Contracting Office, National Capital Region, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity.

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