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Don't Go Chasing Technological Waterfalls

June 13, 2011
By Max Cacas

"Get it done quickly" is the mantra of Chris Miller, Executive Director of the Navy's Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command Center, Atlantic (SPAWAR), which is also referred to as the Navy's Information Dominance Systems Command. While SPAWAR's Pacific office handles research and development, Miller's group, based in Charleston, N.C. is responsible for acquisitions and getting technology on board ships and into the hands of warfighters.

One of his group's biggest procurements: the life-saving MRAPs (Mine Resistant Armored Protected) vehicle, pioneered by the Marines. "We do 16,000 MRAPs a year, 50 a day, 1,000 a month," he told attendees of the 10th Annual Naval IT Day, held by the AFCEA NOVA Chapter last Thursday. "All MRAPs are not the same," he added, remarking that in some cases, the C4I capabilities of the average MRAP, which constitutes the radios, displays and IT-related equipment found inside, often cost more than the vehicle in which they are installed. Another one of the successful tech projects fielded by his office is a completely mobile air traffic control system that ships in standard shipping containers, which they partnered with the Air Force to develop. Miller said the acquiring environment is changing to meet congressional mandates for reduced spending, and says acquisition must be "accelerated" with a "minimum of complexity," and have an emphasis on "interoperability." He stressed, "operational excellence of the fleet is more important than just chasing technological solutions."

For DoD, the Road to the Cloud Is Paved With Promise and Pitfalls

May 26, 2011
By Max Cacas

Additional headlines, bullet points, and takeaways from the AFCEA "Solutions" series conference, "Critical Issues in C4I", sponsored by AFCEA International and the George Mason University C4I conference, held May 24th-25th at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.:

Success in the Cloud: 'Better, Faster, Cheaper'

May 25, 2011
By Max Cacas

In his talk regarding the G-6's strategic vision for managing IT resources ""from the Pentagon to the warfighter in theater," Col. Michael Jones, USA (Ret.), noted the most recent challenge to the U.S. Army: the explosive growth of mobile devices, such as iPhones, BlackBerrys and Android tablets.

Any Device, Any Time, Anywhere

May 24, 2011
By Max Cacas

When it comes to the transition for C4I systems to cloud computing architectures, both the challenge-and the promise--boils down to "getting the right information to the right individual at the right time--and doing it securely," according to Teri Takai, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Networks, and DoD Chief Information Officer (CIO).

Irregular Warfare Mandates Unconventional Means

May 11, 2011
By Robert K. Ackerman

Being successful in the era of irregular warfare will require a focus on new ways of building and preparing the force.

The Navy Must Sustain Its Force for the Long Term

May 10, 2011
By Robert K. Ackerman

Ships and submarines being built by the U.S. Navy today will be in service 40 to 50 years from now, according to the commander of the U.S. Fleet Forces Command. Adm. John T. Harvey, USN, explained that the Navy cannot afford to re-procure its fleet, so it must ensure that its platforms last for several decades.

Enemies Likely to Define Future Threat Environment

May 10, 2011
By Robert K. Ackerman

The future threat may be a hybrid threat.

Cyberspace Requires Active Defense

May 10, 2011
By Robert K. Ackerman

Cyberspace security experts no longer can afford the luxury of traditional security.

Cyberthreats Entering New Realm

May 10, 2011
By Robert K. Ackerman

Cyberspace is seeing the beginnings of the development of new types of destructive tools.

Biometrics Technology Continues to Grow

February 23, 2011
By George Seffers

Biometric technology capabilities continue to grow, and so do government data sharing efforts.


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