Defense Operations Blog

There's a New Game in Town

September 21, 2017
By Maryann Lawlor
Operation Overmatch pits innovation against reality in a virtual environment.

U.S. Army introduces an online multiplayer game that allows soldiers to design the future battlespace.

Individual Growth Key to Military Might

September 5, 2017
By 1st Lt. Maxim Yershov, USA
The military offers enlisted and officer personnel many educational opportunities to further their careers. One such option is preparing for and taking the Information Technology Infrastructure Library, or ITIL, exam. Staff Sgt. Timothy Watkins, USA, 52D Signal Battalion, Stuttgart, Germany, is pictured.

The military services offer warfighters extensive professional development; unfortunately, many fail to explore all options. 

Training the CEMA Force

August 9, 2017
By George I. Seffers

“They’re going to hit us and hit us and hit us, and the only way we’ll be able to survive and to operate through that is to start expanding the level of  training and the experience that we have operating with degraded systems or sometimes no systems at all.” —Lt. Gen. Mark Bowman, USA (Ret.), former director of command, control, communications and computers/cyber for the Joint Staff

NETCOM Commander Touts SMART-T

August 9, 2017
By George I. Seffers
The Secure Mobile Anti-Jam Reliable Tactical Terminal, a Desert Storm-era system, could save lives on the modern battlefield, says the NETCOM commander.

Using commercial cellphones on the battlefield puts soldiers at risk of demoralizing and potentially deadly propaganda campaigns.

Sensor Profusion Burdens Networks

August 9, 2017
By George I. Seffers
Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance sensors offer critical capabilities, but they also burden the U.S. Army's networks.

PEO IEW&S seeks enhanced sensors that do not overload the networks and electronic warfare systems that adapt with the threat.

Simplicity: The Most Overlooked Principle of Warfare

August 8, 2017
By George I. Seffers
Army command posts that take 72 hours or systems that require a doctorate degree to operate, are not effective on the battlefield, says a corps commander preparing to deploy to the combat theater.

“I need solutions that are simple and intuitive and do not require field service reps, to be very blunt.”-- Lt. Gen. Paul Funk II, USA, commander, III Corps

Army Confronts the Changing Face of War

August 8, 2017
By George I. Seffers
Lt. Gen. Paul Nakasone, USA, commanding general, U.S. Army Cyber Command, speaks at TechNet Augusta 2017.

Future battlefields may include robots, AI, quantum computing and driverless convoys, as well as cyber and other game-changing capabilities.

U.S. Army Conducts Cyber Integration Projects

August 8, 2017
By George I. Seffers
Maj. Gen. John B. Morrison Jr. (l), commander, Cyber Center of Excellence and Fort Gordon, speaks at TechNet Augusta 2017.

The Army seeks to define cyber electromagnetic activities (CEMA) formations through pilot projects.

Tactical Data Centers Transforming With Technology

August 7, 2017

Organizations operating in tactical environments require infrastructure that goes beyond the walls of the data center.

The Rise of the SD-WAN

August 2, 2017
By Tony Bardo
A U.S. Air Force tactical network operations technician adjusts an AV-211 antenna at Diyarbakir Air Base, Turkey. The latest networking techniques, such as software-defined wide area networks, may offer both budgetary and operational benefits for the Defense Department.

The software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) overcomes many of the challenges defense agencies face, including cost, cloud readiness and network flexibility.

Technology Begets Interoperability

April 24, 2017
By Robert K. Ackerman
Gen. Denis Mercier, FRAF, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, speaks to the audience at NITEC 2017.

The networked force that defines military superiority makes interoperability for coalition operations more than important then ever.

The Army’s Future Is a Digital Convergence

March 9, 2017
By Robert K. Ackerman

With the battlefield capabilities being wielded by peer adversaries, the Army will need to develop and protect its network to a greater degree than ever.

Obsolescence Looms, Innovation Beckons

March 9, 2017
By Robert K. Ackerman
The PEO panel at the Army Signal Conference discusses technology needs for communications-electronics systems.

As with all the military services, the U.S. Army wants to improve its communications-electronics systems to keep up with emerging innovations. But it also faces a looming problem as more systems are plagued by creeping obsolescence.

Drone Use Influences Choice to Start or Escalate Conflicts

March 7, 2017
Willingness to retaliate with force jumps when an adversary shoots down a manned aircraft versus a drone.

A significant majority of people support deploying drones rather than manned aircraft into contested territory, according to a study by the Center for a New American Security and the Future of Warfare Initiative. 

U.S. Army Set to Meet Its 2025 Data Center Reduction Goal

February 15, 2017
By Sandra Jontz
The U.S. Army has reduced the number of data centers across the force by about 38 percent.

The U.S. Army is well on its way to meeting federal goals for reducing data centers, cutting about 38 percent across the force and saving the service $56 million, officials state.

A New Trainer for Airmen: Skynet From 'Terminator'

February 9, 2017
U.S. Air Force training in New Mexico uses robots to teach airmen how to operate better in tense situations.

They can extinguish shipboard fires and deliver explosive devices to kill suspected shooters, and now robots can help U.S. airmen with the 27th Special Operations Wing in New Mexico practice for intense missions, such as hostage situations.

DARPA's SideArm Project Helps Aircraft Stop Short

February 8, 2017
By Maryann Lawlor
Aurora Flight Sciences recently tested a full-scale SideArm technology demonstration system that repeatedly captured a Lockheed Martin Fury UAS accelerated to representative flight speeds via an external catapult. Photo courtesy of DARPA.

A full-scale technology demonstration system that repeatedly captured a 400-pound Lockheed Martin Fury unmanned aerial system (UAS) accelerated to representative flight speeds via an external catapult. The test was part of the DARPA's SideArm research, which focuses on creating a self-contained, portable apparatus that can horizontally launch and retrieve UASs that weigh up to 900 pounds.

Secure Wireless Warfighter Comms Available When Troops Need Them Most

January 30, 2017
By Charlie Kawasaki
A U.S. Marine uses a tablet to communicate in real-time during the Infantry Officer’s Course.

The ability of warfighters to be mobile and nimble is not a luxury during combat operations. It is an absolute necessity. Staying ahead of the enemy or avoiding attack often means an entire command post must move, and quickly—a mammoth challenge if the command post relies on a wired communications network with cumbersome and costly cables and equipment.

China Returns Seized U.S. Navy's Unmanned Vessel

December 20, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
A U.S. Navy buoyancy glider, similar to one that was seized December 15, 2016, by the Chinese navy. The vessel was returned to the U.S. Navy December 20., The USNS Bowditch, an oceanographic sampling and data collector of surface, mid-water and ocean floor parameters.

Chinese naval forces returned a U.S. Navy underwater, unmanned research vessel on Tuesday, near the location where it was unlawfully seized late last week, according to a U.S. Defense Department statement.

Chinese Navy Seizes U.S. Underwater Vessel From International Waters in South China Sea

December 16, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
USNS Bowditch

A Chinese military ship seized a U.S. underwater, unmanned research vessel, prompting the U.S. Defense Department to launch “appropriate government-to-government channels” with the Chinese government to immediately return the vessel. On Thursday, China unlawfully seized the unclassified ocean glider while sailing in the South China Sea, according to a Defense Department news release. 

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