Dr. Kenneth Dick, School of Interdisciplinary Informatics, College of Information Science and Technology, University of Nebraska Omaha, Omaha, Nebraska, apprised the chapter on "How to Innovate" at its September luncheon. Dr. Dick pointed out that innovation rarely happens within the center of an organization, but it starts at the edge—possibly as a joke, becomes a threat and then becomes obvious. He provided six tips to enhance one's creativity: Open your mind; diversify your thoughts; use mental floss; stop looking for the straight answer; discover your creative rhythm; and remember that good health makes wealth. Dr. Dick commented that there are two types of innovation: evolutionary and revolutionary. He provided several steps to improve one's personal creativity and discussed that the market mindset is a barrier to creative thinking and the ability to innovate. Dr. Dick talked about how to organize using the three circles of innovation. In concluding, he said to develop an effec ... READ MORE
The second European faculty advisers and student club representatives meeting was held in Prague at the Police Academy of the Czech Republic in October. More than 30 professors, students and chapter representatives from seven European universities had opportunities to meet with AFCEA’s new president and CEO, Lt. Gen. Robert M. Shea, USMC (Ret.), and Tina Jordan, vice president, region and chapter outreach. Petr Jirasek, regional vice president for Central Eastern European and Baltic regions, was the meeting moderator and organizer. He opened the meeting, explaining the importance of student and Young AFCEAN activities in Europe. AFCEA has in Europe 14 student clubs and cooperation with more than 20 universities in nine countries. During the last three years, students and faculty advisers organized six student symposia and dozens of local workshops and meetings. During the meeting, all the faculty advisers introduced their local activities. Professor Paul Svasta, Politehnica Universi ... READ MORE
The Future Crises Conference was held in October in Prague as part of the 16th AFCEA International ITTE conference. The conference was devoted to the issues of cybersecurity, defense and crisis management. The program committee, which was composed of prominent experts on security and representatives of important state, academic and private organizations, prepared a rich program with more than 40 presentations and practical demonstrations to inform about trends in cybersecurity, draw attention to the need for broad national and international cooperation and share experience in lifelong education, science and research in new information technology. Experts at the conference discussed how active cyber defenses may integrate with traditional military operations across the spectrum of international conflict as well as how such defenses influence national responses related to deterrence and escalation and how the effects of such operations impact other military missions. They argued that ... READ MORE
The chapter's October PD Luncheon featured an overview of the Canadian Safety and Security Program, presented by Dr. Mark A. Williamson, director general of Defense Research and Development Canada – Centre for Security Science (DRDC CSS). Dr. Paul Hubbard, defence scientist, DRDC CSS, also spoke on progress toward multiagency data and information exchange.
The chapter sponsored the two-day Nanotechnology Symposium in October in Buenos Aires, Argentina. There were 30 attendees. Maximo Ricci and Luis Favotto were the coordinators. The event included a discussion of the global state of nanotechnology.
The chapter gave its quarterly STEM teacher award in October to Teresa Broadnax, an engineering teacher and electric vehicle team coordinator at Phelps Architecture, Construction and Engineering High School. She has taught several science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) courses at the school since 2010, including Introduction to Engineering Design, Principles of Engineering, Civil Engineering and Architecture, Engineering Design and Development and Aerospace Engineering. Broadnax, or Ms. Tee, as her students, parents and peers affectionately call her, has an unwavering commitment to empowering students in the vast world of STEM. She goes above and beyond, making herself accessible before school, at lunch, after school, over the weekend and during spring break to provide students with support to ensure they are able to attain and master the various STEM skills. It is with diligence and expectation that she makes success a reachable opportunity and not simply an option ... READ MORE
Carlo Espiritu and Christian Wooldridge, two men with exemplary leadership skills and deeply involved in the government and government information technology contracting industry, were chosen as the chapter's AFCEAN and Young AFCEAN of the Month, respectively, for October. Espiritu, president of Triple Point Security, was selected for his outstanding leadership in helping to develop the strategy and program/agenda for the 4th Annual Emerging Technology Summit. With his background in cloud computing, cybersecurity and emerging technologies, Espiritu has more than 17 years of experience in the information technology security industry as well as federal law enforcement, defense and health care. His expertise is in managing and implementing robust information security programs. He is active in the cloud computing security community in both the public and private sectors and provides thought leadership in communitywide initiatives such as the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) Guide; the Info ... READ MORE
In September, the Chapter welcomed a large turnout to hear Col. Bobbi Doorenbos, USAF, commander of the 214th Reconnaissance Group, for its first fall 2014 professional development luncheon. Col. Doorenbos shared how her Arizona Air National Guard unit executes a 24/7, Title 10 mission operating MQ-1 Predators overseas. Attendees learned the utility, capabilities and challenges of the aircraft, including persistent presence, the reliance on distributed and pre-positioned line of sight communications to operate and land, how sensor video is fused and distributed and how operators overcome the lack of sensory feedback flying via screens instead of in the aircraft. Col. Doorenbos gave specific thanks for communicators' critical mission assurance role for MQ-1 operations. At the luncheon, Regional Vice President Larry Bingaman also presented the chapter with its third consecutive Model Chapter of the Year Award and swore in the Board of Directors: Maj. Chad Richardson, USAF, president; ... READ MORE
During the September general membership meeting, the chapter awarded five $1,000 scholarships to high school students. Winners of the Lift Off Scholarship included Emily Genet, a graduate of John Hardin High School who plans to pursue a degree in pharmacy at Cedarville University; Rebecca Isaacs, a graduate of Faith Homeschool Group who plans to pursue a degree in chemistry at Western Kentucky University; Joshua Newton, a graduate of Central Hardin High School who plans to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering at Western Kentucky University; Benjamin Pinkley, a graduate of Faith Homeschool Group who plans to pursue a degree in chemistry at Union University; and Eileen Thanitanont, a graduate of Jefferson County High School who plans to pursue a degree in biochemistry at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Charles Onstott, vice president and service line manager for SAIC's cybersecurity, cloud computing and data science services, presented a wonderful session to the chapter in September about cybersecurity awareness. The session hit home with the chapter's general membership, who are responsible for maintaining a continuous state of readiness. The examples provided and best practices shared will help members establish and maintain continuous monitoring. The portion of the session regarding the move from the Department of Defense Information Assurance Certification and Accreditation Process to the Department of Defense Information Assurance Risk Management Framework also hit home as many members are key personnel responsible for maintaining day-to-day operations.
The chapter Young AFCEANs, led by race director Chris Molis and his team, including Megan Kozacka, assistant race director; Stephan Nadeau, vice president, Young AFCEANs; and Kim Matthews, vice president, diversity, sponsored its annual 5K Family Fun Run/Walk for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) Education in September at the historic Minuteman National Park, in Lincoln, Massachusetts. More than 100 runners and walkers of all ages—from toddlers to seniors—including several sturdy dogs, participated in this event to benefit the chapter's Education Fund with all proceeds going to fund scholarships in STEM disciplines. After the race, awards were presented to the top three finishers and several prizes were raffled off to lucky participants. Generous contributions from Google, Raytheon, Hanscom Federal Credit Union, Oasis Systems, Middlesex Community College and Booz Allen Hamilton helped make this a memorable and fun event for all.
The chapter welcomed Dan O'Shea, vice president of Personnel Recovery, Kidnap & Ransom at GROM Technologies Incorporated. O'Shea is a former Navy Seal commander and combat veteran with more than 20 years of special operations experience and multiple Middle East (Iraq/Afghanistan) and Africa tours. From 2004-2006 he served as coordinator of the Hostage Working Group at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and is recognized as an Islamic-extremist subject matter expert. His presentation to the chapter, directed to both industry and military, resonated with those who provide or perform duties in such hostile environments, particularly the understanding of safety-related issues and the motives of terrorists. While the U.S. is not alone on the hostage-terrorism issue, O’Shea discussed how it degrades national decision making, forcing nation states to make difficult policy decisions. He stated, "Terrorist kidnappings are challenges that U.S. administrations have faced over 20 to 30 years," referen ... READ MORE
In September, the chapter continued following the modernization of the Air Force Eastern Launch Range. Phacil Senior Project Manager Garrison Thompson explained to the group that the Eastern Range communications network had fallen behind the network standards across the Air Force. His company, under contract to the range, has already completed review of the system requirements by the new standards. The next step is the preliminary design review with the Air Force, then detailed plans for implementation. Thompson assured the group that the “air gap” used to isolate range terminals in foreign countries from the servicewide enterprise network would be retained. In addition, the chapter elected officers for 2014-15, with President Dave Bryant continuing in that position. Installation of the new board will take place during the annual banquet in October.
John Remen, strategic development manager for the Rocket Propulsion Division (RQR) of the Aerospace Systems Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), spoke to the chapter in September. AFRL/RQR is located at Edwards Air Force Base, California, and conducts all space and missile propulsion science and technology efforts for the Air Force. Remen discussed historic, as well as current activities in rocket motor development and testing. The AFRL/RQR has more than 60 years of experience in rocket science and technology that includes work on the F1 engines that propelled the Saturn Moon rockets, to low-thrust electric propulsion thrusters used to maneuver satellites. Among their current projects is the hydrocarbon boost (HCB) engine to replace the Russian-made RD-180 used on the Atlas V, and the development of rocket motors that burn advanced, green propellants with higher performance and much lower toxicity than hydrazine. As they say, they are “the home of real rocket scienti ... READ MORE
Brig. Gen. Sarah E. Zabel, USAF, director, cyberspace strategy and policy, Office of Information Dominance and chief information officer, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force, was the speaker for the August luncheon. As the cyberspace operations and support career field functional manager, Gen. Zabel is responsible for the development of 43,000 officers, enlisted and civilian personnel. She oversees the Air Force cybersecurity program to ensure compliance with all legislative, Department of Defense and joint policies and directives. Additionally, she leads the Air Force in developing cyberspace strategies, policies and enterprise architectures across business, information, weapon system, and defense intelligence mission areas. She has served within the communications and cyber field as the 43rd Communications Squadron commander at Pope Air Force Base, North Carolina, a computer security evaluator at the National Security Agency, a computer and network programmer, an Air Force A ... READ MORE
The chapter's Young AFCEANs hosted a thought-provoking, sold-out session in September offering attendees crucial tips on the Defense Information Systems Agency's (DISA) information technology priorities, which are to implement and sustain an efficient, converged and consolidated information technology infrastructure; to develop joint enterprise mission assurance solutions that expand and extend security protections; to provide a portfolio of optimized and integrated enterprise service offerings; and to promote rapid delivery and utilization of secure mobile capability, leveraging commercial mobile technology. The deep dive discussion provided an open-access forum through which local business leaders and AFCEA members could learn how to best connect with DISA leadership. DISA panelists included David Bennett, chief information officer; David Mihelcic, chief technology officer and principal director, Global Information Grid Enterprise Services Engineering; Cindy Moran, director of net ... READ MORE
The chapter's Women In Intelligence Group (WIIG) held another successful Book Club in September at CollabraSpace in Annapolis Junction. The group read and discussed Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When the Stakes Are High. The authors call a "crucial conversation" the situations in life where things are tense and saying the right things is crucial. As opposed to a casual discussion, crucial conversations happen between two or more people when opinions vary, stakes are high and emotions run strong. WIIG Book Club members discussed the main technique the authors teach, which is the talent of dialogue, and how it could be used both personally and professionally. Several participants indicated they were able to take a recommendation from the book and apply it in a real-world situation, including one participant who decided to pull a previously seemingly uninterested employee into the pool of conversation. She was pleased not only by the knowledge and expertise the individual wa ... READ MORE
At the chapter's Executive Breakfast in September, speaker David W. Weddel, director, strategic planning, Defense and Intelligence Solutions, Lockheed Martin, presented "Cybersecurity and Cyber Vulnerability of Modern Warship."
Chief Master Sgt. Patrick F. McMahon, USAF, 14th Air Force command chief, shared experiences from his career with chapter members during a luncheon in September. Chief Master Sgt. McMahon enlisted as a satellite communications equipment systems specialist and spent the majority of the following 20 years working with tactical communications and mission systems. He fondly reminisced on his upbringing in the communications and electronics field and expressed his appreciation for the continued camaraderie he feels with those sharing the same background. Chief Master Sgt. McMahon also emphasized the importance that communication systems and processes play in the support of every other functional mission area. At this same luncheon, the chapter awarded Senior Airman David Dykshoorn, USAF, and Martin Agee, Vandenberg Middle School, a $500 science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) scholarship and teaching grant, respectively.
Young AFCEANs of the Kaiserslautern and Bonn e.V. chapters in Germany organized a two-day event in September for both chapters with NATO in Mons, Belgium. Five Young AFCEANs from both chapters attended NIAS 2014, the NATO Information and Cyber Defence Conference. Later, they had a workshop on upcoming events with Maj. Gen. Klaus-Peter Treche, GEAF (Ret.), general manager of AFCEA Europe, and Wolfgang Taubert, regional vice president. One of the major plans for 2015 is a European Young AFCEAN conference during TechNet Europe in Berlin. Taubert also briefed the Young AFCEANs on the NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCI Agency). The group also went to NATO Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE), where they were briefed on NATO’s activities and given a tour of the headquarters. The combined Young AFCEA activities of the Kaiserslautern and the Bonn chapters are part of a series of events started almost three years ago. For the first time with the support of AFCEA Eur ... READ MORE
The chapter's Young AFCEANs were out and about in San Antonio during the early fall, with two industry tours at the Center for the Intrepid (CFI) in September and Rackspace in October. "Tours are arranged so our members get to taste the life at different organizations in our community," Young AFCEANs adviser Emily Rausch said. "They learn about technologies and different cultures and some find opportunities for future employment. One of our tour guests actually did an informal job interview during our time at Rackspace" in October. That is no small achievement: Rackspace tour guide Amy Claire said being hired there is tougher than gaining entry into Harvard. Once hired, employees take a "strengths finder quiz" and share their top five strengths with the company on their ID badges and cubicle displays. Some 85 percent of "Rackers" are self-identified as "learners." "We are nerds. Everyone is curious and interested in learning," Claire said, noting emphasis on technical skills and cri ... READ MORE
At a time when the Air Force as a whole is shrinking—by about 18,000 personnel—the service's cyber forces are growing as an integral component of the nation's defense strategy, Col. Michael Harasimowicz, USAF, commander of the 688th Cyber Space Wing (CSW), told the chapter's September gathering. Col. Harasimowicz, whose wing supports some 700 cyber personnel in San Antonio and about 200 more in other locations, said that busting certain "cyber myths" is key to getting the rest of the Air Force and other branches to fully understand and embrace the role of cyber in their missions. "When you hear these things said, you’ve got to shut that down real quickly," he said. One example would be the myth that cyber is geeky. "Now, we may enjoy the occasional Hot Pocket and Mountain Dew, but we’re warriors, engaged with the enemy on a daily basis," Harasimowicz said. Other myths include the notion that cyber is new or that cyber is all about flashy new toys. Those who are doing the testing and ... READ MORE
Louisiana Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne and Electronic Music Alliance Executive Director Janine Jordan spoke at the chapter luncheon in September, which doubled as "DigiTalks," a kickoff event for DigiFest South, an annual digital media symposium held in Shreveport/Bossier City, Louisiana. Lt. Gov. Dardenne mentioned Louisiana's unique arts and culture attract millions of tourists every year. Domestic and international visitors spent $10.8 billion in Louisiana in 2013. He also gave a preview of new "Pick Your Passion" commercials, which will be broadcast to attract more travelers. Jordan talked about current environmental issues the planet faces due to overabundant trash from human consumerism. She showed how artists use their work to draw attention to the issues and provide solutions. One example Jordan gave was “sustainable fashion,” like her earrings, which look like gold but were actually made from a kind of grass.
In September, the chapter recognized its Young AFCEAN of the Month award winner, Isaac Barnes, chief operating officer and vice president of Eminent IT, a service disabled veteran owned firm. Barnes currently serves as the chief technology officer (CTO) of the chapter. He has previously served as Young AFCEAN co-chair of emerging technologies, Young AFCEAN co-chair of the Sponsorship Committee and a volunteer for various chapter events. As CTO, Barnes is responsible for providing technical guidance, support and strategy to the chapter.
A panel of distinguished Army and Defense Information Systems Agency leaders discussed defense programs and priorities before a sold-out crowd of more than 450 attendees at the chapter luncheon in September at the Ritz Carlton Pentagon City. The speakers addressed the move to unified capabilities and how the Army is standardizing and modernizing information technology assets, helping the service achieve efficiencies in operations; reduce costs; and improve speed and security. The Army is making a huge push towards the future, said Major Gen. Alan Lynn, USA, vice director of the Defense Information Systems Agency. “It’s one team now going towards the same ending point. We’re all moving together. To get there, we have a lot of infrastructure we have to rebuild,” he said. The chapter’s luncheon series draws senior officers and professionals from across the Department of Defense, armed services, intelligence and civilian agencies to discuss topics of interest to the government community ... READ MORE
In September, the chapter recognized its AFCEAN of the Month Award Winner, Col. James Dillon, USMC (Ret.), director of business development, Government Group, REDCOM Laboratories Incorporated. Col. Dillon joined the chapter as chief information officer in June after retiring as the Marine Corps Forces Pacific assistant chief of staff, G-6. Upon receiving the challenge to identify and address the information technology challenges of the chapter, Col. Dillon reviewed all historic information technology approaches, costs and desired end states of the chapter. Upon recognizing significant issues, he negotiated and modified all technology requirements, reducing the chapter information technology costs by almost 80 percent and taking the chapter to a new, fully modern and easy-to-use architecture. Working closely with the Chapter chief technology officer, Isaac Barnes, Col. Dillon leads the team ensuring the chapter maintains the fully capable, easy-to-use information technology environme ... READ MORE
In September, the chapter Young AFCEAN Advisory Council (YAAC) participated in the 6th annual Family Guidance Center 5K and 10K runs held at local venue the Shoppes at EastChase in Montgomery, Alabama. Proceeds earned from the event will be used to enable the Family Guidance Center of Montgomery to provide support to local families. The Montgomery YAACs were proud to provide support to this selfless cause. The YAAC's participation in the event was part of the chapter YAAC's Get Fit program, which encourages healthy lifestyle habits via Team YAAC's participation in local runs and other athletic-related events. Team YAAC is already looking ahead to future Get Fit events, including training and preparing for the always anticipated Hyundai Half-Marathon scheduled for March 2015.
A team of professors of the University of Porto/INESC TEC and students from the student chapter participated in the seventh World Robotic Sailing Championships/International Robotic Sailing Conference that took place in Galway, Ireland, in September. This annual event joins the international community working in various scientific and technologic subjects related to the development and operation of autonomous surface vehicles powered by the wind. This relatively new type of robotic vessel exhibits a huge potential for long-term missions at sea for a wide range of applications such as scientific sampling of ocean data or marine surveillance with above the surface or underwater sensing devices. The Portuguese team entered the event with two robotic autonomous sailboats developed by the students at the University of Porto, in the scope of the student chapter’s activities. The larger 2.5 meter-long sailboat FASt won two of the four challenges, aimed to evaluate various aspects of perfor ... READ MORE
September luncheon attendees was fortunate to have several former Air Combat Command directors of communications in attendance, including: Lt. Gen. Bill Donahue, USAF (Ret.); Lt. Gen. Jack Woodward, USAF (Ret.); Maj. Gen. Dale Meyerrose, USAF (Ret.); Maj. Gen. John Maluda, USAF (Ret.); and Brig. Gen. Greg Brundidge, USAF (Ret.). Gen. Donahue was the guest speaker and delivered a compelling speech on the “crossroads” the country and the Department of Defense are facing. He stated an interesting observation that Advanced Research Projects Agency Network and global positioning, timing and navigations were two technologies developed by the Defense Department that changed the world. Cyber technology will be the next to revolutionize the world. However, this cyber domain deserves the same protection as the physical domains, the general said. The Air Force has incredible technology, but more so, incredible people. Gen. Donahue warned that the nation should not become servants to processes ... READ MORE
The September luncheon was the kick-off to the chapter's Fall 2014 speaker series. The event spurred a great turn out, spotlighted a local small business, First Citizen's Bank, and included a great discussion with keynote speaker John L. Newby II, Virginia's deputy secretary of veterans and defense affairs.