Defense Operations Blog

Navy Veers Away From Linear Modernization

February 9, 2018
By Robert K. Ackerman
Sea service leaders addressing challenges and opportunities in a town hall format are (l-r) Adm. Paul F. Zukunft, USCG, commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard; Adm. John M. Richardson, USN, chief of naval operations; Gen. Robert B. Neller, USMC, commandant, U.S. Marine Corps; along with moderator Adm. James Stavridis, USN (Ret.), dean, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University., Exploring the exotic world of hyperwar are (r-l) Capt. Sean Heritage, USN, Navy and IT portfolio lead, Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx); Amir Husain, founder and CEO, SparkCognition Inc; August Cole, senior fellow, Avascent/Atlantic Council; and panel moderator Capt. David Adams, USN (Ret.), program manager, Western Pacific Oceaneering., Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition James F. Geurts outlines potential changes in Navy acquisition processes.

Replacing older maritime assets must be teamed with a host of new capabilities and doctrines.

More Funding Not a Cure-all for Sea Services

February 8, 2018
By Robert K. Ackerman
From l-r, Adm. Paul F. Zukunft, USCG, commandant, U.S. Coast Guard; Gen. Robert B. Neller, USMC, commandant, U.S. Marine Corps; and  Adm. John M. Richardson, USN, chief of naval operations, discuss sea service challenges and opportunities in a town hall forum moderated by Adm. James G. Stavridis, USN (Ret.), dean, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University.

Money alone can't buy modernization as the sea services confront a range of internal and external challenges.

Hyperwar Is Coming Faster Than You Think

February 8, 2018
By Robert K. Ackerman
Hyperwar and its ramifications were the subject of a West 2018 panel comprising (r-l) Capt. Sean Heritage, USN, Navy and IT portfolio lead, DIUx; Amir Husain, founder and CEO, SparkCognition; August Cole, senior fellow, Avascent/Atlantic Council; and panel moderator Capt. David Adams, USN (Ret.), program manager, Western Pacific Oceaneering.

Powered by AI, hyperwar will change the conflict equation.

The Competition to Innovate Better Than Adversaries

February 8, 2018
By Robert K. Ackerman
Vice Adm. Jan Tighe, USN, deputy chief of Naval Operations for Information Warfare (N2N6), reviews the complexity of information warfare., Lt. Gen. Robert S. Walsh, USMC, commanding general, Marine Corps Combat Development Command, outlines Marine Corps efforts to out-innovate adversaries, Discussing how to prevail in the gray zone are (l-r) panel moderator Kathleen Hicks, director, International Security Program, Center for Strategic & International Studies; Vice Adm. John D. Alexander, USN; Vice Adm. Michael M. Gilday, USN; Vice Adm. Fred M. Midgette, USCG; Rear Adm. Tim Szymanski, USN; and Nina Hachigian, former ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

The U.S. military finds itself challenged by peers and near-peers.

In Between War and Peace, the Gray Zone Hosts Conflict

February 7, 2018
By Robert K. Ackerman
At West 2018, panelists discuss how to prevail in the gray zone (l-r): Kathleen Hicks, International Security Program, Center for Strategic & International Studies; Vice Adm. John D. Alexander, USN; Vice Adm. Michael M. Gilday, USN; Vice Adm. Fred M. Midgette, USCG; Rear Adm. Tim Szymanski, USN; and Nina Hachigian, former ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Neither war nor peace, conflict still reigns in this vague realm.

Marines Have Changing Future in Their Sights

February 7, 2018
By Robert K. Ackerman
Lt. Gen. Robert S. Walsh, USMC, commanding general, Marine Corps Combat Development Command, discusses Marine Corps innovations in the Wednesday keynote address at West 2018 in San Diego.

The U.S. Marine Corps is charging into the future at full speed.

New National Defense Strategy Requires Innovative Approaches

February 7, 2018
By Robert K. Ackerman
Panelists discussing how to use the network to build maritime power are (l-r) moderator Lt. Gen. Robert Shea, USMC (Ret.), AFCEA president and CEO; Kenneth W. Bible, deputy director, C4/Deputy CIO, U.S. Marine Corps; Kelly Fletcher, acting Department of Navy CIO; Vice Adm. Matthew J. Kohler, USN, commander, Naval Information Forces; and Rear Adm. Kevin Lunday, USCG, assistant commandant, C4&IT and commander, U.S. Coast Guard Cyber Command., Patrick Shanahan, deputy secretary of defense, describes the ramifications of the new National Defense Strategy during his opening keynote address at West 2018., Adm. Scott H. Swift, USN, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, discusses the broad challenge posed by China during his keynote luncheon address.

The U.S. National Defense Strategy provides a picture of the nation's challenges, but the path to solutions is not so clear.

China Poses a New Type of Challenge

February 6, 2018
By Robert K. Ackerman
Adm. Scott H. Swift, USN, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, shares his views on the China challenge at West 2018.

China poses a new type of challenge. The United States must develop a new type of response to meet it.

Reform Key to National Defense

February 6, 2018
By Robert K. Ackerman
Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan explains key elements of the new U.S. National Defense Strategy at West 2018.

Building a new defense takes more than hardware, software and personnel. Reform is as the heart of all efforts.

U.S. Army Improving Mobile Command Posts

January 10, 2018
The U.S. Army has kicked off a new effort to modernize expeditionary command posts. Credit: U.S. Army

The Army recently authorized an effort to address mobility issues and ensure communications hardware and mission-command application integration across platforms.

Army Moves to Integrate Warfare Operations

December 14, 2017
By Kimberly Underwood
From left, the Army’s Maj. Gen. Patricia Frost, Maj. Gen. John Morrison, and Maj. Gen. David Lacquement (Ret.) discuss at a recent AUSA event how the Army is integrating electronic warfare capabilities into a multifunction approach with cyber and intelligence operations.

To succeed in the global digital battlefield, the Army is building multifunction teams in electronic warfare and cyber operations.

Plan for Potential Degraded Operations

November 3, 2017
By Beverly Cooper
Rear Adm. Matthew J. Carter, USN, deputy commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet discusses resiliency at TechNet Asia-Pacific., Rear Adm. Matthew J. Carter, USN, deputy commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet discusses resiliency at TechNet Asia-Pacific.

The low-cost entry to access the same technology the military uses leaves open the possibility for embedded attacks on the technology we depend on.

Sharing Information Supports Resiliency

November 2, 2017
By Beverly Cooper
Reliance on C4 capabilities demands resiliency and cybersecurity baked into all aspects of system operations, bringing confidence in resilient communications to the warfighter. Speaking on a panel that addressed this topic were, l to r: Col. Jay Matos, USMC; Col. Joseph E. Delaney, USMC; Brig. Gen. Paul H. Fredenburgh III, USA;  Brig. Gen. Stephen C. Williams, USAF; and Col. James D. (Jim) Turinetti, IV, USA. Also on the panel was James Williams. , Panelists at TechNet Asia-Pacific discuss C4 capabilities.

Technology is rapidly changing, providing opportunities as well as challenges.

Ride Wave of Consequence With PACOM

November 1, 2017
By Beverly Cooper
Lt. Gen. Bryan P. Fenton, USA, deputy commander, U.S. Pacific Command, discusses military challenges and opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region at TechNet Asia-Pacific., Lt. Gen. Bryan P. Fenton, USA, deputy commander, U.S. Pacific Command, speaks at TechNet Asia-Pacific., Lt. Gen. Bryan P. Fenton, USA, speaks with an attendee at TechNet Asia-Pacific.

Partnering with industry, academia and other innovators is essential to make a difference in the Asia-Pacific region.

Winning Through Cultural Advantage Still Possible

November 1, 2017
By Beverly Cooper
Culture and technology intersect in many ways, and a panel at AFCEA TechNet Asia-Pacific discussed some of the issues that result, from l-r: Rear Adm. Patrick Piercey, USN; Candy Green, Will Bates and Air Commodore Phillip Champion, RAAF., Panelists at TechNet Asia-Pacific discuss the information technology and its impact.

Information technology’s impact on our culture is far deeper and more profound than many realize.

Army Sustainment Is a Team Sport

October 30, 2017
By Kimberly Underwood
Various offices work closely to provide key sustainment for the Army, panelists explained at MILCOM.

Collaboration is needed across various Army offices to ensure readiness.

Army Readiness Means a Focus on Equipment Sustainment

October 26, 2017
By Kimberly Underwood
Maj. Gen. Randy Taylor, commanding general of CECOM, speaks at MILCOM 2017 in Baltimore., Maj. Gen. Randy Taylor, commanding general of CECOM, speaks at MILCOM 2017 in Baltimore.

Falling short on sustainment levels, CECOM aims to tighten the reigns to achieve readiness.

The Army Must Adapt to Succeed in the Future

October 24, 2017
By Kimberly Underwood
Lt. Gen. Bruce Crawford, USA, Army CIO/G-6, speaks at MILCOM 2017 in Baltimore., Lt. Gen. Bruce Crawford, USA, Army CIO/G-6, addresses the MILCOM 2017 audience in Baltimore.

To regain the advantage lost in the cyber-realm, the Army aims at modernizing its network and harnessing technologies.

Budget Constraints, Technology Needs Challenge Marine Corps

October 23, 2017
By Kimberly Underwood
 Brig. Gen. Dennis Crall, USMC, director C4/CIO, speaks at MILCOM in Baltimore.,  Brig. Gen. Dennis Crall, USMC, director C4/CIO, speaks at MILCOM in Baltimore.

Marine Corps CIO sees the need for more mobile information technology and better data processing and acquisition processes.

Military Satellite Programs to Leverage Partnerships

October 23, 2017
By Kimberly Underwood
Robert Tarleton, director, MILSATCOM Systems Directorate, Space and Missile Systems Center, Air Force Space Command, speaks at MILCOM 2017.

Harnessing industry and international partnerships will reduce costs and increase performance.

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