Homefront Help: Klein Tools’ Camo Pliers and $25,000 Donation

June 13, 2013
By Rita Boland
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Klein Tools will donate $25,000 in 2013 to Operation Homefront, an organization that provides emergency financial and other assistance to the families of U.S. service members and wounded warriors. The donations are planned to be outright and not connected to any sales or promotion, but Klein is giving its customers a chance to show their support for the military as well. And the opportunity comes with a fancy, exciting name.

The company has introduced Limited Edition Camouflage 2000 Series High-Leverage Side-Cutting Pliers. To create the tools, Klein transformed the look of its most popular 2000 Series Side-Cutting Pliers with a plastic-dipped camouflage handle design and a black-oxide plier head with a laser-etched “Support Our Troops” logo. The items all will be manufactured in the United States.

Anyone who wants to order a set should visit the company’s Distributor Locator to find a store that carries them, because the tools are not available online. So hurry on down for pliers full of pride, just don’t drop them in any wooded areas.

Homefront Help also has a Facebook page where visitors can gather and share information. If you know of a program that is helping service personnel, veterans or their families please submit that information to Rita Boland, SIGNAL’s senior news editor.

Homefront Help: Veterans Charity Challenge

June 6, 2013
By Rita Boland
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The Veterans Charity Challenge is giving away $100,000 to charities that support the military community. But that’s only the beginning. Because of the way the contest is set up, participating groups will raise other money for their causes along the way, resulting in higher contribution totals. Here’s how it works.

Craigconnects and The Rahr Foundation are celebrating the former’s two-year anniversary by awarding monetary prizes to fundraising teams that bring in the most donations between noon Eastern on May 23 and July 3. In addition to the top three overall prizes of $35,000, $25,000 and $15,000, an additional $25,000 will be given to charities throughout the campaign as weekly Bonus Challenges. Donors can win prizes along the way, too.

Everyone can participate in the Veterans Charity Challenge by registering a fundraising page on CrowdRise and collecting for U.S.-based 501(c)3s with missions that benefit veterans’ causes and military families. People who want to take part can join an existing team, create their own team or donate online. Download the complete rules for more details.

Homefront Help also has a Facebook page where visitors can gather and share information. If you know of a program that is helping service personnel, veterans or their families please submit that information to Rita Boland, SIGNAL’s senior news editor.

Cool App-titude: Rosetta Stone Navigator

June 4, 2013
By Rachel Eisenhower

Whether you're brushing up on a new language for an upcoming vacation or just want to practice your language skills, the free Rosetta Stone Navigator apps for iOS can help.

The apps, which include a phrase book and free lessons for four different languages, are designed to give you the basics. Learn phrases to meet people, dine out, stay in hotels, use transportation, get directions and tell time. It even has speech-recognition technology and advanced features to tell you if you're pronouncing a phrase correctly.

It's all the essentials you need to succeed on your next trip.

Download the free app for Spanish, Italian, French or German.

These sites are not affiliated with AFCEA or SIGNAL Magazine, and we are not responsible for the content or quality of the products offered. When visiting new Web sites, please use proper Internet security procedures.

Navy Triton UAS Spreads Its Wings

May 30, 2013

The U.S. Navy’s latest unmanned aircraft designed for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) collection and dissemination hit a milestone this month, completing its first flight. The event marks the start of a series of tests to validate the system for future fleet operations. The MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft System reached 20,000 feet altitude during the 80-minute flight in restricted airspace while Navy and Northrop Grumman personnel controlled it from the ground below.

According to the Navy, the aircraft platform is critical to the future of naval aviation, as it will serve as a major part of the military’s surveillance strategy in the Asia and Pacific regions. It can fly for long periods of time, transmit information in real time to units in the air and on the ground, and use fewer resources than previous surveillance aircraft. The MQ-4C Triton will be based at five locations around the globe.

Navy Sets up Cyber Mission Teams

May 30, 2013
By Henry S. Kenyon

The U.S. Navy is establishing new teams to run cyber operations and help defend Defense Department networks as a service extension of U.S. Cyber Command. These teams are part of a centralized defensive and offensive cyber capability that is beginning to take shape within the Defense Department, said Kevin Cooley, command information officer for the Navy’s Fleet Cyber Command/10th Fleet.

Speaking at AFCEA NOVA’s 12th annual Naval IT Day, Cooley explained that the Navy is standing up 40 cyber national mission teams totaling some 2,000 personnel. All the teams will be up by the end of fiscal year 2016. These teams will function as units based on mission orders from the U.S. Cyber Command, Cooley said.

The Navy teams will provide U.S. commanders with additional cyber resources to use during operations. Cooley noted that many of the information technology and communications capabilities created over the past 20 years have given the Defense Department a major advantage operationally. Potential adversary nations have been working for some time to copy these capabilities for themselves. But, those systems have weaknesses that can be exploited. “We spend a lot of time dealing with how to capitalize dealing with those vulnerabilities so that we can provide our commanders with a robust set of kinetic and non-kinetic options, should that need arise,” he said.

It also is likely many nations and smart individuals around the world are putting similar efforts into exploiting U.S. network weaknesses. “They’re smart, they have a lot of money and they are very motivated,” Cooley said. This is both a problem and an opportunity of national importance, he added.