SIGNALScape

Defense Department Personnel Urged to Provide Information for DOD Enterprise White Pages

May 17, 2013

Defense Department personnel are encouraged to update their information for the new DOD Enterprise White Pages, which provides browser-based access to DOD enterprise identity and contact information maintained by the Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) Person Data Repository.

The tool, which can be accessed by users with a valid Common Access Card or External Certification Authority certificate via the Internet or the Unclassified-But-Sensitive Internet Protocol Router Network, is part of the Defense Information Systems Agency’s Identity and Access Management collection of solutions.

DOD personnel can update their duty organization, duty location and other attribute information managed by the DMDC at http://milconnect.dmdc.mil.

The DOD Enterprise White Pages replaces the Joint Enterprise Directory Services search.
 

 

 

BAE Awarded Smart Waveform Research and Development Contract

May 17, 2013
George I. Seffers
E-mail About the Author

 
BAE Systems Information and Electronic Systems, Merrimack, N.H., was awarded a $11,943,869 modification to a previously awarded contract for smart waveforms using evasive and adaptive protocols (SWEAP) software/hardware/testbed to demonstrate CommEx's capabilities for recognition, optimization, and mitigation in software-only upgrades using the current processing resources, software upgrades on enhanced processing resources, hardware and antenna upgrades. The total cumulative face value of the contract is $18,245,337. Fiscal 2013 Research and Development funds provided by Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency in the amount of $4,590,234 will be obligated at the time of award. The contracting activity is Air Force Research Laboratory, Rome, N.Y.
 

BAE Supports U.S. Navy Air Warfare Center

May 17, 2013
George I. Seffers
E-mail About the Author

 
BAE Systems Technology Solutions and Services Inc., Rockville, Md., is being awarded a $37,760,767 modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to exercise an option for engineering and technical services and supplies for the design, development, integration, test and evaluation, maintenance and logistics support of communication-electronic platform, equipment, systems and subsystems in support of the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division’s Special Communications Requirements Division. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, St. Inigoes, Md., is the contracting activity. 

U.S. Air Force Procures Fault Detection System

May 17, 2013
George I. Seffers
E-mail About the Author

 
Total Quality Systems, Roy, Utah, has been awarded a $7,055,753 firm-fixed-price contract for Small Business Innovative Research Phase III Intermittent Fault Detection and Isolation System, which will provide services in support of the development and delivery of an 8448-channel intermittent fault detection and isolation system and an F-16 AN/APG-68 radar system programmable signal processor test program set, including the required interface test adapter. The contracting activity is Air Force Sustainment Center, Hill AFB, Utah.  

Jacobs Technology to Support U.S. Air Force Bases

May 17, 2013
George I. Seffers
E-mail About the Author

 
Jacobs Technology Inc., Lincoln, Mass., was recently awarded two cost-plus-fixed-fee and cost-reimbursable contract for interim support of services to provide engineering and technology acquisition support services. One contract is valued at  $8,527,294, the other at $14,448,258. The types of services include but are not limited to: engineering services, engineering support, technical support, provisioning and logistics, modeling and simulation, configuration and data management, architectural support, test and evaluation, security engineering and certification, capability based planning, commercial-off-the-shelf integration, integrated master plans and scheduling and technical reviews. Work will be performed at Hanscom Air Force Base (AFB), Mass., with primary geographically separated units at Peterson AFB, Colo.; Langley AFB, Va.; Eglin AFB, Fla.; Maxwell-Gunter AFB, Ala.; and Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, with an expected completion date of Nov 15, 2013. Contract has a foreign military sales component as the contract requires company to travel overseas for host nation support. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center is the contracting authority.

New Funding Rules Call for New Thinking

May 16, 2013
By Maryann Lawlor
E-mail About the Author

Robert O. Work, former undersecretary of the Navy, and current chief executive officer, Center for a New American Security, spoke frankly about the state of the military’s financial circumstances and shared his opinion about the next steps. The final keynote speaker at East: Joint Warfighting 2013 at the Virginia Beach Convention Center, Virginia, pointed out that this is not the first time the U.S. military has felt a budget crunch and the time for sounding the alarm has not yet arrived. Explaining that fiscal year 2013 is only the third year of a drawdown in funding, Work stated that the cuts have not yet bottomed out.

The most troubling issue may be that the bottom is not yet clearly apparent. However, Work predicted that tight budgets are likely to be around for the next four to nine years, unless something, such as another large national security threat, occurs to change it.

One difference between past and today’s budget cuts is the existence of the all-volunteer military. Personnel expenses are among the highest cost to the U.S. Defense Department. During the Vietnam era, troops were more than willing to leave the service when their military stint was up. However, today, the combination of more opportunities and the country’s economic crisis has resulted in service members who voluntarily joined the military staying in. To add to this conundrum, the department does not want to ask any of these talented, bright people to leave, so the cost of maintaining the military will remain high.

Attempting to balance the budget between what Congress is willing to approve and what the military needs to operate solely by implementing efficiencies “is a bunch of crap,” Work said. “It’s not as easy as people think.” Cutting procurement and research and development spending is the worst approach, he added, because these will only lead to larger expenditures in the future.

Procurement Processes Must Progress

May 15, 2013
By Maryann Lawlor
E-mail About the Author

Acquisition reform has never been a hotter topic than it is now in light of recent budget cuts. A panel led by Lt. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sorenson, USA (Ret.), former U.S. Army chief information officer (G-6), and partner, A.T. Kearney Public Sector and Defense Services LLC, tackled this topic, offering ideas about how to get solutions to operators faster even in this resource constrained environment.

Gen. Sorenson started the conversation by pointing to a past acquisition program—the Joint Tactical Radio System—that does not meet the needs of today. The program took too long and cost too much, he said. To avoid these types of failures in the future, the general suggested that the military learn some lessons from how industry conducts procurement. Rather than frequently changing its requirements when it is in search of a solution, industry identifies core requirements and then sticks with them through the development process. In addition, the commercial sector does not set up numerous regulations that must be followed, which only extends procurement times. Finally, compared to the military’s 228 steps from the concept to the end state of a product, the commercial sector’s acquisition steps are in the range of 50. This abbreviated process speeds up the ability to deliver “good enough” solutions before they become obsolete, Gen. Sorenson said.

Rear Adm. Terry B. Kraft, USN, commander, Naval Warfare Development Command (NWDC), related that his organization hits some of these goals by beginning the procurement process with well thought-out concepts. These concepts must fit well with the overall strategy, he added. In addition, the NWDC asks for input from the operators upfront to ensure solutions that are being considered will meet their needs when they are introduced into the field. Despite this solid approach, the admiral admitted that it is not an easy job. “Can you innovate within a bureaucracy? That’s a hard thing to do,” Adm. Kraft stated.

U.S. Defense Department Did Not Apply Lessons from Vietnam to Operations in Afghanistan and Iraq

May 15, 2013
By Maryann Lawlor
E-mail About the Author

Despite the Vietnam War experience, the United States military was ill prepared for the fighting it faced in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is the opinion Lt. Col. John A. Nagl, USA (Ret.), nonresident senior fellow, Center for a New American Security, and Minerva Research fellow, U.S. Naval Academy, shared with attendees at the final morning keynote address at East: Joint Warfighting 2013.

While Operation Desert Storm was the type of war the United States wanted to fight since its failure in Vietnam, it was a military success without victory, because Iraq’s leadership stayed in power. “The first Iraq war was necessary; this one is not,” Col. Nagl said. “Good intentions do not always result in favorable outcomes.”

The counterinsurgency lessons from fighting in Southeast Asia were not truly learned, because they were not applied to the fight in Southwest Asia until Gen. David Petraeus, USA, was called into action. And although operations in Iraq can be considered somewhat of a success because some stability has occurred, the jury is still out about whether the same can be said about operations in Afghanistan, Col. Nagl related. “Will Afghanistan end up like Vietnam … or an untidy success like Iraq?” he asked.

The colonel believes the U.S. military must continue to prepare for missions that are more counterinsurgent in nature. Counterinsurgency wars are long and messy, but these are the types of wars the U.S. is mostly likely to face in the future, he said.

Even Radical Change Occurs Incrementally for the Military

May 15, 2013
By Maryann Lawlor
E-mail About the Author

Discussing the topic of incremental change versus radical change, the Wednesday panel at East: Joint Warfighting spoke about the need for flexibility and agility. While making radical changes in operational strategies or tactics could be somewhat beneficial, it is more important to change at a reasonable pace but be ready and able to adjust quickly to deal with unexpected challenges, panelists said.

Panelist Lt. Gen. Christopher Miller, USAF (Ret.), former deputy chief of staff for strategic plans and programs, U.S. Air Force, pointed out that it was relatively easy to describe threats in the past, but today the threat spectrum is all over the place. Relative success, particularly in the air, has increased public and political expectations. However, because this level of success may not persist in the future, change is necessary but difficult. “Nothing makes it easier not to change than success,” he stated.

Vice Adm. Kurt W. Tidd, USN, director for operations (J-3), Joint Staff, offered a different point of view. While many speak of the future in terms of doom and gloom, he believes that austerity is a relative term when it comes to resources. No matter the budget, allies will continue to rely on U.S. forces. And while change is necessary, established doctrine limits how fast the military can make changes, the admiral said.

That said, the admiral pointed out that one shift that will occur is the relationship between the U.S. government and the military. In the past, political leaders gave the military a mission and the resources to accomplish that mission. Now, the military will explain to political leaders what it can accomplish with the resources it has been given, he stated.

Troubled Economy Leads to Success in Recruiting, Challenges in Motivation

May 15, 2013
By Maryann Lawlor
E-mail About the Author

Members of a panel of junior officers at East: Joint Warfighting focused on operating in the new environment and spoke about how the current fiscal constraints are affecting the troops. In some cases, such as the U.S. Coast Guard, the overall national economic downturn is posing challenges associated with success. In others, the lack of training funds is putting troops in some very tight spots.

Lt. D.F. Flusche, USCG, commanding officer, Coast Guard Cutter Block Island, explained that one of the Coast Guard junior officers’ biggest challenges right now is keeping troops motivated. Because of an influx in new recruits, a logjam at the middle career range means that younger Coast Guardsmen cannot advance as quickly in their careers.

This situation is likely to continue for some time; however, the Coast Guard is instituting some practices that will help. For example, the job performance and timeliness of advancements of Coast Guardsmen with 20 years in the service is being scrutinized more carefully. If the service record is not exceptional, a Coast Guardsman may be asked to retire at the 20-year mark. In addition, for fiscal year 2014, only 1,000 new recruits will be admitted into the service.

To ensure that Coast Guardsmen just beginning their careers remain motivated, Lt. Flusche recommends keeping the lines of communication open with regards to the ground truth of the possibility of advancing by remaining in the service. For those who would like to stay in, the lieutenant recommends that they increase their proficiency in the service with “total craft knowledge.” This means they should take courses, volunteer for less desirable duties and work on standing out from the pack. “The biggest thing is to tell your people to be patient. The pendulum will swing the other way,” he stated.

Pages