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SIGNAL Magazine

Writing
 a New Spy School
 Syllabus

October 1, 2012
By Max Cacas

The National Intelligence University prepares for its fifth decade with a shift in focus and a change in venue.

The National Intelligence University, which provides advanced training to U.S. intelligence professionals, is transitioning from an institution primarily focused on the U.S. Defense Department to one serving the entire intelligence community. This reflects the new emphasis toward sharing and collaboration within the nation's intelligence apparatus.

To make the change a reality, National Intelligence University (NIU) leaders are rethinking and expanding the educational programs the institution offers. Plans also are underway to relocate the university to its own new campus in the very near future—in part to bolster its perception as an intelligence community strategic resource.

Dr. David R. Ellison, president of the NIU, says that the change began with the appointment of James Clapper as the director of National Intelligence in 2010. “Director Clapper recognized that if we were going to have a National Intelligence University in the intelligence community, the best place to start was with an accredited institution that had already achieved success in an academic area,” Ellison explains. He adds that Clapper went on to draft a memorandum to then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, defining education as a force multiplier and a tool that must be used to the advantage of the entire intelligence community.

“What he envisioned was that the then-National Intelligence College would become the National Intelligence University, and it would provide accredited education, academic research and academic outreach to the intelligence community as a whole,” Ellison points out.

Intelligence CIOs Teaming for Change

October 1, 2012
By Robert K. Ackerman

New common goals open doors for more efficient approaches to information sharing.

Technological and cultural barriers are falling away as intelligence community organizations strive to establish a collaborative environment for sharing vital information. This thrust may be a case of an urgent need overcoming traditional obstacles as onetime rival groups embrace cooperation with the goal of building a synergistic information realm.

This effort comprises several initiatives that range from establishing a common information interface to moving to the cloud. Along with programs to meet technological challenges, the thrust has changed relationships among agencies and even the nature of some intelligence organizations.

These initiatives have brought the FBI back into the core of intelligence community information sharing. For several years, the bureau has been migrating toward becoming a domestic intelligence organization concurrent with its law enforcement activities. It faces different hurdles than those confronted by defense-oriented intelligence agencies, but some of the solutions realized by the bureau might be applied across the intelligence community.

Other organizations in the intelligence community are weighing different options. Their chief information officers (CIOs) are dealing with the challenges inherent in sharing information across organizational lines, but with different approaches that may based in part on whether they largely are the collectors or the processors. Regardless, the information technology element of the intelligence community is becoming more integrated, says Grant M. Schneider, deputy director for information management and CIO at the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA).

A Different Type of
 Self-Forming Network

October 1, 2012
By Rita Boland

People, not necessarily technology, come together in a plan to foster creativity in acquisition.

The head of technology information at the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization has initiated a plan to improve how coalition members procure capabilities by focusing first on personnel, not technology. Through the new approach, government, industry and academia will re-frame conversations and have more meaningful dialogues, which should lead to deploying apt solutions more quickly.

Leveraging his position in an agency built on agility, Jim Craft, the chief information officer (CIO) and deputy director information enterprise management at the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO), is reaching out to partners across the spectrum. His goal is to alter how they purchase or present materials in the hopes that lives will be saved and innovation will be rewarded. The idea has particular relevance to counter improvised explosive device (IED) and information technology operations and should foster creativity, eventually leading developments into the best funding streams.

Craft calls his plan for this rapid acquisition process the innovation engine. In formal terms, he explains that it “is a systematic, disciplined approach to leverage self-forming networks among coalition partners and in the private sector and the whole of government in order to discover and encourage innovation, then rapidly adapt that innovation to support the JIEDDO mission and where appropriate the information technology support of our warfighters.”

Experts Call for Solar Storm Prep

August 24, 2012
By Rachel Eisenhower

Extreme instances of electromagnetic energy from solar events, known as solar storms, could increase in frequency and intensity in 2013, according to space weather experts. While scientists recommend the public and private sectors prepare for the potential threat, insufficient information about the source and nature of solar storms makes the task challenging.

U.S. Marines Snip the Network Wire

August 17, 2012
By Beverly Schaeffer

Going wireless doesn't have to be a security risk, and the nation's oldest military service is proving that there IS security in the ether.

Quick-Response Medicine: A Better Pill to Swallow

August 10, 2012
By Beverly Schaeffer

By making public-private communications seamless, a national research center aims to speed up emergency response times. With national security a top priority, the National Emergency Preparedness and Response partners say cooperation is critical now. How can the center eliminate stovepipes and unite communications systems?

Tracking the Wireless Menace

August 3, 2012
By Beverly Schaeffer

What you CAN'T see CAN hurt you. In this case, it's wireless intrusion by unauthorized devices. The U.S. Departments of Homeland Security and Defense are hot on the trail to ramp up detection and amp up protection.

Mobile Network Amps Up Army Modernization

July 13, 2012
By Rachel Eisenhower

Select U.S. Army brigade combat teams headed to Afghanistan will soon receive components from the service's first integrated mobile network. The equipment package, known as Capability Set 13 (CS 13), could revolutionize combat operations and help the Army in its overarching modernization efforts.

Government Adapts to Meet Mobile Demands

July 6, 2012
By Rachel Eisenhower

Forget about the standard "iPhone vs. Android" debate--the U.S. government is pushing to make sure it meets mobile demand no matter what the platform. While HTML 5 looks like a promising solution for multiplatform needs, it might not solve the challenges for every federal agency.

Coast Guard Gets Clarity Underwater

June 29, 2012
By Rachel Eisenhower

A 3-D imaging system is providing the U.S. Coast Guard with real-time undersea data critical to its mission. Although the technology is still under evaluation, it has already assisted the service in its response to the Coast Guard helicopter crash off the Alabama shore in February.

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