Asia-Pacific

November 13, 2012
By Robert K. Ackerman

Suitability, speed of introduction and economics are among the reasons that the commercial sector may hold the key for defense cyberspace operations. Panelists at TechNet Asia-Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii, cited the need to discard the traditional military specification (MILSPEC) approach for information technologies and turn to the commercial sector for solutions.

“We’re not fighting the cyber war MILSPEC. We have to adapt to commercial spec,” said Terry Halvorsen, Department of the Navy chief information officer. “The whole process today is too costly, too slow.

“We can’t afford the cyber war without getting rid of MILSPEC and going commercial,” he emphasized.

November 14, 2012
By Robert K. Ackerman

TechNet Asia Pacific Online Show Daily: Day 1

Quote of the Day: “If you try to protect everything, you protect nothing.”—Terry Halvorsen, Department of the Navy chief information officer

The new strategic emphasis on the Asia-Pacific region poses a new set of challenges for the U.S. military, ranging from cyberspace attacks to missile defense in a large-scale conflict. Meeting these challenges will require a new approach to coalition building as well as a shift in technology procurement. And, the relationship among the United States, China and their neighbors will weigh heavily on all efforts for regional security.

November 14, 2012
By Robert K. Ackerman

The next great threat to computer and network security lies in the supply chain—and it is here now. From factories unwittingly turning out devices infected with malware, to counterfeit parts sold on the Internet, malevolent operators threaten the security of information systems without running any risk of being stopped or detected by conventional security practices.

Marcus H. Sachs, vice president, national security policy for Verizon, told the audience at TechNet Asia-Pacific 2012 in Honolulu, Hawaii, that 10 to 12 percent of the global information technology supply chain is counterfeit, and that number is growing.

November 13, 2012
By Robert K. Ackerman

U.S. military forces will be challenged in all warfighting domains should conflict break out, according to a Pacific Air Forces general. One of those domains may already be the site of an ongoing fight.

Maj. Gen. John Shasteen, USAF, mobilization assistant to the commander, U.S. Pacific Air Forces, told the luncheon audience at TechNet Asia-Pacific 2012 in Honolulu, Hawaii, that nation-states and rogue organizations threaten U.S. military operations in all the warfighting domains. He contrasted this threat with the environment that U.S. forces faced in Southwest Asia, where the air domain was dominated by the allies and the only challenge was on land.

November 13, 2012
By Robert K. Ackerman

U.S. bases in the Asia-Pacific region are under extreme threat of air and missile attack, and intricate measures may be necessary to protect them in the event of a serious conflict. These measures may range from kinetic antimissile defenses to a shell game that disperses assets among different locations to enhance their chances of survivability.

Maj. Gen. John Shasteen, USAF, mobilization assistant to the commander, U.S. Pacific Air Forces, offered this assessment to the luncheon audience at TechNet Asia-Pacific 2012 in Honolulu, Hawaii. The general stated that an integrated air and missile defense is vital to protect vulnerable assets.

November 13, 2012
By Robert K. Ackerman

The U.S. Pacific Command is expanding its coalitions by adding nations to existing bilateral pacts across the Asia-Pacific region. This builds on the existing tendency to use a regional solution for regional problems, but it adds to capabilities and effectiveness across a wide range of challenges.

Maj. Gen. Michael A. Keltz, USAF, director, strategic planning and policy (J-5), U.S. Pacific Command, told an audience at TechNet Asia-Pacific 2012 in Honolulu, Hawaii, that the command is transitioning from bilateral and even trilateral coalitions to a multilateral approach. This does not portend a NATO of the Pacific, but instead focuses on drawing together neighbors to address regional challenges.

November 13, 2012
By Robert K. Ackerman

Hollywood may be providing the solution to countering the increasing Chinese ballistic missile threat; only not in the way traditionally envisioned. A leading general in the U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) is calling for a “Star Wars” approach to defeating a ballistic missile attack from the People’s Liberation Army forces.

November 13, 2012
By Robert K. Ackerman

Well-meaning legislation that sought to improve human rights among nations is working against U.S. efforts to build greater cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region. Maj. Gen. Michael A. Keltz, USAF, director, strategic planning and policy (J-5), U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM), speaking to an audience at TechNet Asia-Pacific 2012 in Honolulu, Hawaii, addressed the Leahy Amendment that limits activities between U.S. forces and nations labeled as human rights violators.

November 13, 2012
By Robert K. Ackerman

In a major policy shift, the United States is avoiding an “either/or” approach to nations that have relationships with China. Instead, the United States is telling Asia-Pacific nations that they do not have to choose between the reigning superpower and the rising one.

Maj. Gen. Michael A. Keltz, USAF, director, strategic planning and policy (J-5), U.S. Pacific Command, told an audience at TechNet Asia-Pacific 2012 in Honolulu, Hawaii, that the United States is “having a hard time convincing nations that we don’t want them to choose between the United States and China.” Part of the reason is that China is trying to use its economic clout to force nations to choose China over the United States.

November 13, 2012
By Robert K. Ackerman

The U.S. command with the largest theater of operation sees humanatarian assistance/disaster response as its biggest mission. Maj. Gen. Michael A. Keltz, USAF, director, strategic planning and policy (J-5), U.S. Pacific Command, told an audience at TechNet Asia-Pacific 2012 in Honolulu, Hawaii, that this mission dominates the command’s challenges—“We think about it 90 percent of the time.”

November 1, 2012
By Kent R. Schneider

Sustaining U.S. Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense,” the new strategic guidance for the Defense Department, begins with a letter dated January 3, 2012, by President Obama. In this letter, the president states, “Our nation is at a moment of transition…. As commander in chief, I am determined that we meet the challenges of this moment responsibly and that we emerge even stronger in a manner that preserves American global leadership….

November 1, 2012
By Rita Boland
Ships from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, the Republic of Korea Navy, and the U.S. Navy maneuver through the Pacific Ocean during a trilateral exercise. PACOM’s J-6 directorate is working to enhance coalition communications in its area of responsibility.

A premier cyber center and the next phase of the Joint Information Environment are altering the technical landscape for U.S. forces.

Cybersecurity remains the foremost concern for the man tasked with overseeing U.S. military communications technology in the Asia-Pacific area as the national defense strategy shifts focus to that region of the globe. New opportunities for technologies and programs are opening, but cyber issues continue to hold top billings in importance, and moves to shore up operations predate the recent official guidance.
 

November 1, 2012
By Robert K. Ackerman

Existing efforts are ramped up to achieve bigger results sooner.

The new U.S. strategic thrust toward the Asia-Pacific region is boosting longtime efforts in both coalition building and force projection. Bilateral alliances are evolving into multinational operations, and U.S. forces are increasing their forward deployed presence in quantity and capability.

October 1, 2012
By James C. Bussert

Towed arrays technologies add new capabilities to destroyers.

Recent improvements in Chinese destroyer technology have opened the door for greatly expanded surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, particularly for undersea operations. Advances range from new power plants and weapons to radars and sonars that provide versatility known to other modern navies.

Many of these upgrades involve long-overdue improvements in warship operations. Electronics and missile advances acting synergistically are enabling new shipboard defense systems. But new sensor suites, particularly in sonars, are changing the nature of Chinese naval missions.

October 2011
By Robert K. Ackerman, SIGNAL Magazine

 

A U.S. Air Force F-16 takes off from Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska to participate in Red Flag 11-2, held this past July. The multiday exercise, which comprised air and land forces from four countries, generated air combat data that could be reviewed by all participants in real time.

October 2011
By Max Cacas, SIGNAL Magazine

 

An E-3 Sentry airborne warning and control system (AWACS) prepares to taxi out for takeoff in Guam. The AWACS aircraft, from the 552nd Air Control Wing at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, provides all-weather surveillance, command, control and communications.

October 2011
By Max Cacas, SIGNAL Magazine

 

A building stands surrounded by rubble in Wakuya, Miyagi, Japan, in March. Ships and aircraft from the USS Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group conducted search and rescue operations and resupply missions as directed in support of operation Tomodachi.

October 2011
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Magazine

 

HMAS Collins (foreground) meets with HMAS Waller (l) and HMAS Rankin. The Royal Australian Navy plans to replace its six submarines, all Collins class, with 12 new future submarines over the course of several years.

October 2010
By Robert K. Ackerman, SIGNAL Magazine

 

The 7th Fleet command ship USS Blue Ridge fires a flare during a nighttime exercise. The U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) is facing new challenges as it attempts to navigate through security issues in the vast Asia-Pacific region.

October 2010
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Magazine

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