SIGNAL Blogs

November 17, 2016
By George I. Seffers
Terry Halvorsen, U.S. Defense Department chief information officer, speaks about using cloud technology. Photo by Bob Goodwin

Taking advantage of the hybrid cloud environment is the smart thing to do, said Terry Halvorsen, U.S. Defense Department chief information officer, at AFCEA TechNet Asia-Pacific.

November 17, 2016
By George I. Seffers
Cindy Moran, former director for network services at DISA, talks about network performance and security at TechNet Asia-Pacific. Photo by Bob Goodwin

Cindy Moran, former director for network services at the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), told the audience at the AFCEA TechNet Asia-Pacific conference in Honolulu that it is time to build networks for maximum performance and to find other ways to build in security.

November 17, 2016
By George I. Seffers
Experts debate whether a cyber attack against common information systems or industrial control systems would be more lethal. Photo by Bob Goodwin

U.S. military and civilian experts on protecting critical infrastructure control systems debated whether a cyber attack on common information systems or on industrial control systems would be more deadly in response to an audience question at the AFCEA TechNet Asia-Pacific conference in Honolulu.

November 15, 2016
By George I. Seffers
Panelists at TechNet Asia-Paciifc 2016 discuss the need for trust in the cyber domain. Photo by Bob Goodwin, Randy Cieslak, chief information officer for the U.S. Pacific Command (l) and Brig. Rory Copinger-Symes, United Kingdom Royal Marines, deputy director for security cooperation, PACOM, speak on a panel at TechNet Asia-Pacific. Photo by Bob Goodwin

Trust—or a lack thereof—is one of the biggest impediments to information sharing among coalitions and partner nations, according to a panel of experts speaking at the AFCEA TechNet conference in Honolulu. Randy Cieslak, chief information officer for the U.S. Pacific Command, led the panel. He described cyber as a two-edged sword available to both good guys and bad.

November 15, 2016
By George I. Seffers
Brig. Gen. Brian Cavanaugh, USMC, deputy commander, U.S. Marine Forces, Pacific, addresses attendees at AFCEA TechNet Asia-Pacific 2016. Photo by Bob Goodwin

To obtain mission success, the U.S. military must maintain an emphasis on distributed operations that rely heavily on technological capabilities offered through cyberspace, said Brig. Gen. Brian Cavanaugh, USMC, deputy commander, U.S. Marine Forces, Pacific, during AFCEA TechNet Asia-Pacific 2016.

November 15, 2016
By George I. Seffers
Rear Adm. Phillip Sawyer, USN, deputy commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, summarizes the state actor threats to the United States during AFCEA TechNet Asia-Pacific in Honolulu. Photo by Bob Goodwin, Rear Adm. Phillip Sawyer, USN, deputy commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, speaks at AFCEA TechNet Asia-Pacific in Honolulu. Photo by Bob Goodwin

The good news, according to Rear Adm. Phillip Sawyer, USN, deputy commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, is there is little likelihood the U.S. will go to war with China, Russia, North Korea or Iran, the country’s top four nation-state adversaries. Furthermore, ISIL will not be able to hold onto its territories. On the other hand, North Korea is utterly unpredictable and ISIL will probably rebuild somewhere else.

November 14, 2016
By David Young

Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience month serves as a reminder to not only understand, but appreciate, the various critical infrastructure sectors that play vital roles in the national and economic security of the United States. How can networking capabilities within these sectors improve? How can innovation continue? One key approach is to address the vast complexities of the networks, guest blogger David Young writes.

November 15, 2016

Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems out of Manassas, Virginia, received a $125,185,446 cost-plus-incentive-fee and cost reimbursement modification to a previously awarded contract for Acoustic-Rapid commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) Insertion (A-RCI) systems engineering and technical support. The company will perform engineering services to continue the development and production of COTS Insertion A-RCI sonar systems that integrate and improve towed array, hull array, sphere array and other ship sensor processing, through rapid insertion of hardware and software. About 95 percent of the work will be performed in Manassas, Virginia with the rest in Syracuse, New York, and is expected to be completed by December 2017.

November 10, 2016

The dependence on connectivity for critical services between government branch offices and data centers is increasing the need for networks to have improved reliability, scalability and flexibility. A solution brief provides more information on how to keep distributed organizations up and running.

November 9, 2016
By Ralph Wade

An impression exists among senior U.S. government officials that moving C4ISR systems into the cloud is overhyped. They question whether the migration would improve operational effectiveness. The answer is yes, and its time has come, writes Ralph Wade, a vice president within Booz Allen Hamilton’s Strategic Innovation Group with a focus on digital solutions/C4ISR across government and military organizations.

November 8, 2016
By Joe Kim

More than a decade ago the Defense Department announced plans to convert its network to the Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) standard. Today, the wait continues. The department no longer can afford to cite the re-occurring mantra “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Today’s military simply cannot overlook the need to transition, writes Joe Kim, SolarWinds' senior vice president and global chief technology officer.

November 9, 2016

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Agency (IARPA) announced the public release of the Accurate Events from Natural Text (ACCENT) technology.

By David Young

Discussions about the nation’s critical infrastructure usually focus on aging networks, some more than 50 years old. Government efforts to modernize the information technology infrastructure have been going on for years, yet many agencies continue to spend the majority of their IT budgets on legacy technology. The Department of Homeland Security has designated November as Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience month to raise awareness around these essential systems.

November 1, 2016

AAI Corp., a Textron company, Hunt Valley, Maryland, was awarded a $206,561,704 cost-plus-fixed-fee foreign military sales (Australia) contract for contractor logistics sustainment services for Shadow RQ-7B unmanned aerial systems. Bids were solicited via the Internet with one received. Work will be performed in Hunt Valley, Maryland, with an estimated completion date of October 31, 2017. Fiscal 2017 other funds in the amount of $3,705,107 were obligated at the time of the award. The Army Contracting Command, Natick, Massachusetts, is the contracting activity (W911QY-17-C-0013).

November 3, 2016
By Julianne Simpson
An Atlas V launch vehicle carrying the Navy's fifth Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) communications satellite lifts off from Space Complex 41, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of United Launch Alliance/Released)

After experiencing some initial difficulties, the Navy’s fifth Mobile User Objective System (MUOS-5) satellite has reached its operational orbit and has successfully deployed its arrays and antennas.

November 3, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
Maj. Gen. Dwyer Dennis, USAF, addresses attendees on the final day of MILCOM 2016 in Baltimore., The U.S. Air Force is placing a heavy emphasis on C2l construct, hardening the service’s enterprise networks against cyberthreats, says Maj. Gen. Dwyer Dennis, USAF., “Data flow is one of the primary challenges we face,” says Maj. Gen. Dwyer Dennis, USAF, at MILCOM 2016.

The U.S. Air Force is placing a heavy emphasis on command and control, hardening against cyberthreats the service’s enterprise networks that control everything from state-of-the-art fighter jets to weapons systems. Competing priorities of speed, security and cost will drive cyber-based programs. “It’s all about the data,” said Maj. Gen. Dwyer Dennis, USAF, wrapping up the MILCOM 2016 conference in Baltimore.

November 2, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
Panelists discuss efforts to equip the cyber force at MILCOM 2016. Photo by Mike Carpenter, Giorgio Bertoli is a senior scientific technical manager for offensive cyber at the Intelligence and Information Warfare Directorate (I2WD) at the Army’s Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC). Photo by Mike Carpenter, Donald Coulter is a computer scientist and team lead for trusted systems and networks with CERDEC’s Space and Terrestrial Communications Directorate. Photo by Mike Carpenter, Giorgio Bertoli displays a rather recent history of the Internet during a panel discussion at MILCOM 2016.

The history of the Internet as we know it today doesn’t really date back that far. Some 25 years, really. But what is both enticing and concerning is that the rate of change in this arena constantly is speeding up, making it difficult to forecast where technology will go next.

November 2, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
Maj. Gen. Earl Matthews, USAF, (Ret.), former director of cyberspace operations and chief information security officer for the Air Force, delivers the luncheon keynote during MILCOM 2016. Photo by Mike Carpenter, Six key characteristics matter for cyber situational awareness: speed, resiliency, intelligence, integration, analytics and expertise, says Maj. Gen. Earl Matthews, USAF, (Ret.), now vice president for Enterprise Security Solutions, U.S. public sector, Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Photo by Mike Carpenter

The military that can control and deny access to and use of the electromagnetic spectrum will be the victor of the next war, predicts Maj. Gen. Earl Matthews, USAF, (Ret.), former director of cyberspace operations and chief information security officer for the Air Force. Attaining supremacy within that crucial domain should be driving emerging technologies that will give the U.S. military the technical overmatch on the battlefield.

November 2, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
Panelists discuss readiness and training of U.S. military forces at MILCOM 2016. Photo by Mike Carpenter, Maj. Gen.  Bruce Crawford, USA, commanding general of U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM), speaks on a panel during MILCOM 2016. Photo by Mike Carpenter, Maj. Gen. John Morrison Jr., USA, commanding general of U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence and Fort Gordon, speaks at MILCOM 2016. Photo by Mike Carpenter

Fifteen years of continuous combat on multiple global battlefields has made U.S. military troop readiness one of the most critical challenges facing the services and Defense Department in spite of advances in communications, networking and other computer technologies. Efforts to sustain troops and equipment have taken a toll on training in particular, making operational priorities and capability needs a highly relevant topic toward shaping the force of the future.

November 2, 2016
By Julianne Simpson
Sandia National Laboratories will oversee the brain-replication work of three teams who aim to map, understand and mathematically recreate visual processing in the brain.

Over the next five years, Sandia National Laboratories will oversee the brain replication work of three university-led teams who aim to close the computer-human gap in object recognition.

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