SIGNALScape

Carter Calls for Cuts

August 6, 2013

 

At the direction of Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Ashton Carter, deputy secretary of defense, has ordered a 20 percent reduction in headquarters management spending throughout the U.S. Defense Department. The cuts apply to all higher headquarters staff, including the Office of the Secretary of Defense Principal Staff Assistants (PSAs) and their defense agency staffs, the Joint Staff, and Service Secretary and Service Chief staffs.

The 20 percent decrease applies to civilian personnel working at headquarters and associated costs, including contract services, facilities and information technology. While military personnel are not part of headquarters budgets, organizations have been directed to strive for a goal of 20 percent decrease in military personnel billets on headquarters staffs. Carter encouraged senior managers to ensure that cuts are made “aggressively and as soon as possible” to eliminate uncertainty for employees and contractors. When possible, some reductions should be made in fiscal year 2014; however, the guideline is to make them proportionately beginning with a fifth of the cut occurring in fiscal year 2015.

Carter has asked that departments submit their reduction plans with their Program Objective Memorandum, which are due on September 23, 2013.

 

JIE Reaches Initial Operational Capability

August 6, 2013

 

The U.S. Defense Department’s Joint Information Environment (JIE) achieved initial operational capability (IOC) on July 31. The JIE is the largest restructuring of information technology management in the military’s history. At the end of the project, personnel will have access to a secure joint environment made up of a shared information technology infrastructure, a single security architecture and enterprise services.

The environment is now available across U.S. European and Africa commands and is managed by the first Enterprise Operations Center, Stuttgart, Germany. The IOC is a validation of the processes and relationships the department will use to support center operations as the environment matures.

 

Subcommittee Chair Urges COTS Use

August 6, 2013

 

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) is encouraging the U.S. Coast Guard to work with industry to identify the latest unmanned vehicles to improve maritime safety and security while saving money. In a recent Congressional Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation hearing, Hunter, the chairman of the subcommittee, shared that he has seen a commercially built autonomous surface vehicle that can facilitate sub-sea to surface to satellite communications.

“The Coast Guard should be the one who experiments with this type of technology, who puts it to use, who saves a lot of money doing it and [who] don’t have to go through any government contractors at all because it’s out there sitting waiting for you to buy it. You don’t have to necessarily know what to call it to know that it can save you lots of money, make you very efficient and more effective on the ocean,” Hunter said.

The congressman saw the demonstration of Wave Glider autonomous vehicles during a visit to Liquid Robotics, developers of the technology. The marine robots can remain at sea for months or even years at a time by tapping into the energy supplied by waves and the sun.

 

AFCEA Answers: GSA’s McClure Cites Two Factors for Security in the Cloud

August 5, 2013
By Max Cacas

When it comes to cloud computing, there are two items that are top of mind for Dave McClure, Associate Administrator with the General Services Administration (GSA) in Washington, D.C.
 
“One is boundaries. Where does a cloud service provider’s authorization and control begin and end?” he noted on a recent edition of the “AFCEA Answers” radio show. McClure goes on to explain that while an infrastructure provider might have a given set of controls and responsibilities, there are software applications that, as he puts it, “sit on top of that infrastructure. Who owns the apps, and who is responsible for security in the application space?”
 
McClure, who has had a long career in information technology in both the private sector and government, suggests that the other challenging security area in today’s cloud computing environment deals with defining the business side of cloud. “There’s some confusion between security controls and contractual terms that deal with access issues, location issues, and usage, some of which are contract, more than straight security concerns. Getting all of that right—the boundaries, the authentication piece, the contract piece—there’s definitely a lot to pay attention to in the cloud space.”
 
Edwin Elmore, Cloud Computing Business Development Manager with Cisco Systems in Washington, sees the challenge of security in the cloud as one of “taking the physical world and moving it to the virtualized world. When you look at cloud computing, it’s a heavily virtualized environment, so the same controls you have around a physical perimeter in your physical data center, now you have to extend it to the virtualized world.” And that, he says, includes applying the same security protocols when it comes to virtual machines exchanging data with each other.
 

Boeing Awarded $2 Billion for P-8A Poseidon Low-rate Production

August 2, 2013
George I. Seffers
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The Boeing Co., Seattle, Wash., is being awarded a $2,042,060,385 modification to a previously awarded fixed-price-incentive-firm contract (N00019-12-C-0112) for the procurement of 13 P-8A multi-mission maritime low-rate initial production (LRIP) Lot IV aircraft and 13 ancillary mission equipment kits in support of the LRIP Lot IV aircraft. In addition this modification includes procurement for one lot of diminishing manufacturing sources and long-lead parts associated with the manufacture of 16 P-8A full-rate production Lot I aircraft. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. 

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