SIGNALScape

Boeing Surveillance Aircraft Contract Modified

May 15, 2013
George I. Seffers
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The Boeing Co., Seattle, Wash., is being awarded a $27,500,000 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract for additional integrated logistics services in support of the low-rate initial production of the P-8A Multi-Mission Maritime aircraft. The Naval Air System Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.   

Coalition in the Face of Change

May 15, 2013
By Maryann Lawlor
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Members of a Wednesday morning panel at East: Joint Warfighting discussing the state of coalitions described the way participants, participation and contributions have changed since the term itself hit the modern scene in the early 1990s.

Vice Adm. William Douglas Crowder, USN (Ret.), former deputy chief of naval operations for operations, plans and strategy, and president, Crowder Strategies and Solutions LLC, began the conversation by posing several pertinent questions, including whether the term “coalition” has lost its punch in recent years. For example, former Vice President Dick Cheney almost exclusively referred to “coalition operations” in Afghanistan, whereas today’s politicians are more likely to use the term “U.S. forces.”

This point led to Adm. Crowder’s second question to the panel, which asked the panelists to address whether the term coalition remains a military term or whether it is now simply a political term. The admiral’s final question may have been aimed at technology—whether or not coalitions force all to operate at the lowest common denominator—but resulted in panelists pointing out that technology is only one element that allies bring to operations. The others, such as knowledge of languages and cultures, are just as important and have proved to be crucial in many multinational missions.

FLIR to Provide Talon System

May 15, 2013
George I. Seffers
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FLIR Systems Inc., Wilsonville, Ore., was awarded a firm-fixed-price contract with a maximum value of $82,434,800 for the procurement of the Talon Forward Looking Infrared System. The Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity. 

Raytheon Names New Leaders


Raytheon, Waltham, Massachusetts, has announced several leadership changes, naming Dr. Thomas A. Kennedy executive vice president and chief operating officer. Daniel J. Crowley was named president, Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems. Lynn A. Dugle was named president of the Raytheon Intelligence, Information and Services (IIS) business. John D. Harris II has been named vice president and general manager of the IIS business.

NATO Leader Calls for Embracing Innovation

May 15, 2013
By Maryann Lawlor
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Gen. Mieczyslaw Bieniek, Polish Army, opened the second day of East: Joint Warfighting 2013 by inviting military leaders from all nations to leave their comfort zones and embrace innovation. Gen. Bieniek, who is the deputy supreme allied commander transformation for NATO, said that the security model for the future requires a new attitude toward partnering and innovation. “Many talk about innovation. Few actually innovate,” the general stated.

Innovation requires a radical paradigm shift. But while military leaders often like to share stories about great advances and changes corporate leaders have made in the commercial sector, few are comfortable taking those kinds of risks in their own commands.“The status quo is no longer an option,” Gen. Bieniek stated. Change will have to occur both in the U.S. military services as well as NATO forces.

One source of change at the Allied Command Transformation (ACT) is the ACT Innovation Hub. This collaborative space for experts opened its doors only four weeks ago and already has 250 participants, the general shared. These out-of-the-box thinkers already are using this forum to discuss and find new ways to apply the technologies people are willing to embrace in their personal lives, such as social media, to the professional arena, where leaders are much more uncomfortable adopting them.

Leadership is the most important element of encouraging innovation, Gen. Bieniek said, because leaders who embrace it set the tone for innovation acceptance. Meeting future security needs will require the militaries from all nations to be agile, and this can best be achieved by being “co-creative,” he added.

East: Joint Warfighting 2013 continues at the Virginia Beach Convention Center, Virginia, today and tomorrow.

Cyber Protection and Defense Still Poses Thorny Questions

May 14, 2013
By Maryann Lawlor
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Wrapping up the panels for the first day of East: Joint Warfighting 2013 was a topic that’s on everyone’s mind: cyber. The topic was the militarization of cyber, particularly in a time when networks from military to education to commercial are the victims of enemies at an increasing amount each day. While participants agreed that additional protection and defense is needed, not all concurred on what organization should have the power or responsibility.

Franklin Kramer, former assistant secretary of defense, International Security Affairs, and board director, Atlantic Council, opened the discussion by pointing out that cybersecurity goes beyond protecting and defending U.S. military networks as joint operations take place in host nations, and coalition operations require trust, sharing and security. The increase in attacks on commercial networks within the United States also demonstrates that more network security is required within the country.

While Vice Adm. Herb Browne, USN (Ret.), former commander, U.S. Space Command, agreed on the need for security, he does not believe that it is the role of the military to take on cybersecurity for the nation. Citing that many other organizations already exist to protect government and commercial networks, the admiral argued that the U.S. Defense Department has a big enough job securing its own networks. He agreed, however, with Vice Adm. Robert C. Parker, USCG, commander, Atlantic Area, and commander, Defense Force East, that during crises, the Defense Department is excellent at providing support and vetting other organizations that offer their services.

Fewer Dollars Mean Lower Readiness

May 14, 2013
By Maryann Lawlor
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Taking a look at the long-term effects of the current budget crunch, military participants in this afternoon’s East: Joint Warfighting 2013 panel agreed that the hits military equipment are taking as a result of reduced funding and furloughs will ultimately affect force readiness. However, some civilians on the panel believe that resources approved in the past have been enough to keep U.S. forces adequately equipped for the near future.

Moderating the panel session, Dr. Dov S. Zakheim, senior fellow, CNA Corporation, and former comptroller, U.S. Defense Department, asked representatives from many of the services sitting on the panel to share their views on current and future results of reduced resources. Vice Adm. William R. Burke, USN, deputy chief of naval operations for warfare systems, N-9, Naval Operations, pointed out that both furloughs and decreases in hiring within the shipbuilding industry could decrease readiness up to 40 percent. In addition, without training funding for troops preparing to deploy to current operations, readiness is sinking deeper into the “bathtub,” a situation that will be harder to climb out of as time goes on. “We are robbing the future to pay for today,” he stated.

Reflecting opinions expressed earlier today, Maj. Gen. Karen E. Dyson, USA, director, budget, U.S. Army, said that maintenance of equipment and facilities deferred now will end up costing more in the long run. Also, because training dollars are drying up, warfighters who are unable to learn about the latest technologies and use them in new tactics could lead to a situation that will end up costing more—in dollars and readiness—in the future.

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