Defense Operations Blog

Army Futures Command Takes Shape

July 17, 2018
By Kimberly Underwood
From left, Army Undersecretary Ryan D. McCarthy, Army Secretary Mark Esper, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley and Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville hold a briefing about the Army’s new Futures Command on July 13 at the Pentagon.

The new Futures Command, to be based in Austin, Texas, will implement service modernization and conduct experimenting, prototyping and testing.

Marine Corps Tactical Network Moves to the Air

June 29, 2018
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
The addition of the U.S. Marines Corps’ networking on the move platform known as NOTM-A Increment II system onto the MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft will enhance the Marines’ abilities to communicate in the air. (U.S. Marine Corps photo courtesy of Chris Wagner)

The service is expanding its C4 capabilities to additional aircraft.

Marines Fielding Night Vision Goggles

June 18, 2018
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
A Marine with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit's Force Reconnaissance Platoon waits on the flight deck while training in the Pacific Ocean. Marine Corps Systems Command unveiled its new Binocular Night Vision Goggle II that it is fielding to Force Recon and Explosive Ordnance Disposal Marines this year, with full capability next year. Photo credit: Staff Sgt. T. T. Parish, USMC, Marines with the 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division run during drills at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, in January. The service is rolling out its new Binocular Night Vision Goggle II, which will help Marines operate more effectively in the dark. Photo credit: Cpl. Aaron Henson, USMC

Advanced helmet-mounted binoculars give Marines better situational awareness in the dark.

The Army’s Tactical Mission Command Computing Shapes Up

June 15, 2018
By Kimberly Underwood
In April, various corps headquarters command and staff from several Army bases participated in the Multinational Warfighting Exercise (WFX) 18-4, taking a closer look the service’s tactical network and mission command capabilities, according to the PEO C3T., U.S. Army Project Manager Mission Command's (PM MC’s) Maj. Tim Forry explains new software features of the Command Post Computing Environment recently at Aberdeen Proving Ground.

Server infrastructure and software advancements are supporting the Army’s tactical mobility, a key modernization target.

Collaboration Key to Multinational Transformation

June 8, 2018
By Maryann Lawlor
NCIA General Manager Kevin Scheid (2nd row, l) and AFCEA Europe General Manager Maj. Gen. Erich Staudacher, GEAF (Ret.), (2nd row, 3rd from r) congratulate the 10 winning participants in the 2018 NITEC Defence Innovation Challenge. Each company had five minutes to present their product to attendees. The competition drew 35 submissions. Photo courtesy of Chuck Helwig, NCIA General Manager Kevin Scheid (l) and AFCEA Europe General Manager Maj. Gen. Erich Staudacher, GEAF (Ret.), discuss NATO’s challenges and solutions during NITEC18 in Berlin.

Public and private sectors must commit to cultural change and encouraging innovation to truly transform support among allied nations.

New DOD CIO Dana Deasy Looks to the Mission

May 17, 2018
By Kimberly Underwood
Dana Deasy, the new DOD CIO (r), chats with Brig. Gen. Kevin B. Kennedy, USA, during the Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium., Dana Deasy, the new DOD CIO, speaks at the AFCEA Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium.

New to the military, the Department of Defense information technology leader finds inspiration in the department's protection of the nation.

Artificial Intelligence Use in Command and Control

May 17, 2018
Kimberly Underwood
Panelists at the Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium discuss AI in the C2 domain., Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Control, Communications, Cyber and Business Systems George Duchak moderates a panel at DCOS., Col. Paul Craft, USA, director, Operations, J-3, JFHQ-DODIN, discusses AI and C2 during a panel at DCOS., Misty Blowers, director of research, development and strategy, Peraton Inc., discusses AI for defense at DCOS., Terry Carpenter, director and program executive officer, Services Development Directorate, DISA, discusses kinetic warfare at DCOS., Daniel Prieto, strategic executive, Google Cloud, discusses AI and machine learning during a panel at DCOS.

In order to use AI in the C2 domain, the military needs quality data and to look to commercial solutions, experts say.

Putting Innovation Into Practice

May 15, 2018
Kimberly Underwood
Panelists, moderated by Stephen Wallace, chief technology director, Development and Business Center, DISA (far r), discuss innovation at the AFCEA Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium., Jennifer Yates, assistant vice president, AT&T Labs, speaks during a panel at the AFCEA Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium., Michael Chung, head of solutions, government, Bugcrowd, speaks on an innovation panel at the AFCEA Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium., Keith Johnson, chief technology officer and chief engineer, Leidos Defense and Intelligence Group, speaks during a panel session at the AFCEA Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium., Doug Cate, acting chief technology officer, Defense Intelligence Agency, talks about innovation during a panel at the AFCEA Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium.

Innovation may be a popular buzzword, but achieving it is harder, experts say.

Army Plays High-Tech Cat-and-Mouse Game

May 7, 2018
By George I. Seffers
The U.S. Army is caught up in a cat-and-mouse game trying to keep pace with technological change. Credit: Alexas_Fotos/Pixabay

The Army may be catching up to adversaries in the information warfare domain, but the pace of change remains a challenge.

Air Force Extends Smart Base Pilot Program

April 25, 2018
By George I. Seffers
The U.S. Air Force is extending its smart base pilot program at Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base, Montgomery, Alabama. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The Air Force is extending the smart base pilot program designed to take advantage of Internet of Things technologies.

Russia Strengthening Focus on AI Technologies

April 10, 2018
By Kimberly Underwood
Russia is preparing to try and dominate the artificial intelligence landscape, and the United States should not be caught off guard, says Samuel Bendett, associate research analyst, Center for Naval Analyses.

In an unprecedented way, the country is coordinating across sectors to develop these advanced technologies.

Army Opens Lines of Communication

April 4, 2018
By Maryann Lawlor
Audience members engage at the AFCEA Mission Command Industry Engagement Symposium roundtable., Maj. Gen. James J. Mingus, USA, director, U.S. Army Mission Command Center of Excellence, addresses members of the military and industry who attended the AFCEA Mission Command Industry Engagement roundtable prior to the opening of the symposium., Panelists discuss the Army's Modernization Strategy at the AFCEA Mission Command Industry Engagement Symposium.

Industry and academia to play a larger role in helping Army operate in a more contested, congested environment.

An Insecure Space

March 28, 2018
By Kimberly Underwood
The Air Force launches the ninth Boeing-built Wideband Global SATCOM satellite at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, in March 2017. Such satellites play an integral part of the United State’s strategic and tactical coordination of military operations in an increasingly contested space domain. Photo by Tech. Sgt. Anthony Nelson; Courtesy of United Launch Alliance.

Policy leaders see vulnerabilities in U.S. space systems, which may be fixed by organizational changes, among other steps.

NATO Wants to Work With Russia on Security

March 15, 2018
By Robert K. Ackerman
NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller meets with troops at Adazi Military Base in Latvia. NATO has stationed rotating forces in the Baltics to demonstrate its resolve and commitment, but that does not preclude working with Russia on international security matters.

NATO wants to work with Russia on security measures, but the resurgent power must make concrete moves that show it is serious about cooperation.

Army Leads on Multidomain Battle Concept

March 8, 2018
By George I. Seffers
Gen. Stephen Townsend, USA, commander, Army Training and Doctrine Command, speaks at the AFCEA Army Signal Conference.

The service is grappling with how to operationalize the approach.

Army CIO Offers Capability Wish List

March 6, 2018
By George I. Seffers
Lt. Gen. Bruce Crawford, Army chief information officer (CIO)/G-6, takes questions at the AFCEA Signal Conference., Lt. Gen. Laura Richardson, deputy commanding general and chief of staff, for U.S. Army Forces Command, speaks to AFCEA President and CEO Lt. Gen. Robert M. Shea, USMC (Ret.) at the AFCEA Signal Conference.

The Army is interested in microsatellites, dynamic spectrum, ground-based GPS alternatives, AI, machine learning and robotics.

Army Deploys Biometrics System to Iraq

February 26, 2018
By George I. Seffers
The U.S. Army is evaluating a multimodal, non-contact biometrics system at an undisclosed location in Iraq. Credit: HQuality/Shutterstock

Contact-free fingerprint, facial recognition and iris detection capabilities will be assessed for about 30 days.

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.

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