Defense Operations

October 16, 2018
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
Last week, Canadian Forces Lt. Gen. Christian Juneau, deputy commander of the Allied Joint Force Command in Naples (l); Adm. James Foggo, USN, commander of the Allied Joint Force Command in Naples (c) ;and Lt. Gen. Rune Jakobsen, commander of the Norwegian Joint Headquarters in Bodo, Norway, outline plans for Trident Juncture, one of the largest joint defensive exercise that NATO has ever held.

Between October 25 and November 7, 50,000 military participants from 31 nations will conduct a defensive live exercise in the North Atlantic and Baltic Sea. One of the largest exercises ever, the NATO event, Trident Juncture 18, is meant to ensure that NATO forces “are trained, able to operate together and ready to respond to any threat from any direction,” according to a statement from the alliance.

September 26, 2018
By Shaun Waterman
Federal CIO Suzette Kent discusses the role of identity mangement in federal IT modernization during AFCEA’s Federal Identity Summit.

Identity isn’t mentioned in the President’s Management Agenda — the Trump administration’s blueprint for modernizing the federal government. But it is central to almost everything the federal government wants to accomplish in IT transformation and digitizing citizen services, Federal Chief Information Officer Suzette Kent told AFCEA’s Federal Identity Summit Wednesday.

“Identity and how we control access to information in the federal government ... is central to all the strategies that we’re talking about and the things that we’re doing” with regard to IT modernization, she said in a keynote address.

September 19, 2018
By Kimberly Underwood
To leverage innovative combat support equipment and technology, the two-year old Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center (AFIMSC) is now holding an annual Installations Weapon and Tactics Conference, modeled after Air Combat Command’s WEPTAC conference. This year’s event in San Antonio brought together senior Air Force leaders and mission support officials, and included an industry day organized by the Society of Military Engineers. U.S. Air Force photo by Malcolm McClendon

The need for increased efficiency drove the U.S. Air Force to pursue its biggest reorganization in the last 25 years, the creation of the Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center, or AFIMSC. The restructuring pulled together 150 capabilities, centralizing how the service delivers installation support, expeditionary support and resources.​ AFIMSC encompasses civil engineering, financial management and financial services, installation contracting, security forces and services activity, which includes recreation, lodging, child care, fitness and other support.

September 1, 2018
By Lt. Col. Christopher Treff, USAF
Select personnel from 15 Air National Guard Engineering and Installation organizations are installing more than 600 miles of cabling in support of the U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM), Command and Control facility (C2F) construction project. U.S. Air Force photo by Steve Cunningham

U.S. Strategic Command headquarters, the lynchpin for U.S. nuclear deterrence, is undergoing the technical renovations it requires to fulfill its current mission and facilitate growth for future operations. The new command and control facility under construction integrates the latest technologies and meets the growing demand to continue to evolve as needs emerge.

September 1, 2018
By Lt. Gen. Robert M. Shea, USMC (Ret.)

President Donald Trump’s recent call for a U.S. Space Force that would potentially be on par with the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard shows a renewed recognition of the importance of space. This presidential proclamation has been met with varying responses. Regardless of one’s position on the topic, it begs for a discussion that is long overdue. The Commission to Assess U.S. National Security Space Management and Organization, often referred to as the Rumsfeld Commission, put into place more than 17 years ago a solid set of findings and recommendations on national space policy. Some of the recommendations have been adopted, while others have fallen by the wayside for a variety of reasons.

August 23, 2018
By George I. Seffers
Maj. Gen. John Morrison Jr., USA, commanding general of the Army Cyber Center of Excellence, moderates a panel at the AFCEA TechNet Augusta conference. Photo by Michael Carpenter

The U.S. Army is making multiple changes to the way it educates soldiers fighting in the cyber and electronic warfare domains. Rather than training soldiers on step-by-step processes, the service is educating personnel to come up with their own solutions on a technologically complex battlefield.

August 23, 2018
By George I. Seffers
David May, senior intelligence advisor, U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence and Fort Gordon, Georgia, speaks during a panel at the AFCEA TechNet Augusta conference. Photo by Michael Carpenter

The U.S. Army is poised to implement five force design changes related to the integration of multidomain capabilities, including intelligence, cyber and electronic warfare. The integration of such capabilities is designed to allow commanders to act more quickly on the cyber-era battlefield.

David May, senior intelligence advisor, U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence and Fort Gordon, Georgia, explained the changes while serving on a multidomain panel at the AFCEA TechNet Augusta conference.

August 22, 2018
By George I. Seffers
Lt. Gen. Bruce Crawford, USA, Army chief information officer, addresses the TechNet Augusta confrence. Photo by Michael Carpenter

The U.S. Army may establish an artificial intelligence task force over the next 90 days in an effort to help develop needed expertise and better prepare for the service for the future of warfare, says Lt. Gen. Bruce Crawford, USA, Army chief information officer. The service also is creating a cloud computing advisory board.

August 15, 2018
By Ray Ivie
The Internet of Things and rapid advances in technology present both promise and peril for warfighters. Credit: geralt/Pixabay

Today’s battlefield is highly technical and dynamic. We are not only fighting people and weapons but also defending and attacking information at light speed. For mission success, the American warrior in the field and commanders up the chain need the support of highly adaptive systems that can quickly and securely establish reliable communications and deliver real-time intelligence anytime and anywhere.

August 1, 2018
By Kimberly Underwood
A new iterative approach in the Army is bringing innovative tactical communication equipment to soldiers faster, leaders say.

U.S. Army leaders are sloughing off some of the old ways of fielding technology and embracing commercial and government advances in tactical communications. Facing a technology revolution, dangerous adversaries and budgetary constraints, leaders are working to get capabilities into the hands of warfighters faster.

August 1, 2018
By George I. Seffers
Army combat units on the move need different networking capabilities from support units that set up camp and stay awhile. Service officials intend to develop a modernized network capable of being scaled and adapted depending on the operational situation. Credit: Spc. Hubert D. Delany III, USA

The U.S. Army’s major overhaul of its network may lead to a communications structure capable of conforming to an array of operational situations, including the possibility of providing offensive cyber and electronic warfare capabilities.

August 14, 2018
 
Military and civilian agencies must have the most modern and effective systems to support the mission. Having a trusted source to identify best practices can be a pivotal factor for driving success. Credit: Shutterstock, Gorodenkoff Visuals

The federal government is increasingly dependent on commercial technologies ranging from infrastructure to the cloud to security solutions. Identifying and incorporating the appropriate complex commercial solutions, however, can be overwhelming when the number of options and the level of risk are significant. 

In the case of military operations, warfighters’ lives depend on having the right products with effective security. The best technologies must be found, potential cyber holes must be identified, and security gaps must be filled. 

August 6, 2018
By Kimberly Underwood
After 10 rotations with brigades, the Army’s Cyber-Electromagnetic Activities (CEMA) teams are hitting their stride, Army experts explain at an Association of the U.S. Army event August 2. Photo credit: Anna Neubauer

The U.S. Army’s efforts to bring electronic warfare, information warfare and cyber capabilities into expeditionary forces is succeeding, Army leaders report. To better support tactical commanders, the service developed a pilot program in 2015 to add such capabilities to brigade combat teams (BCTs). In addition to providing equipment, abilities and authorities to BCTs, the service deployed cyber electromagnetic activities (CEMA) teams to support the initiative known as CEMA Support to Corps and Below (CSCB). The CEMA teams, under the guidance of the U.S. Army Cyber Command, provide training to brigade combat teams (BCTs) through National Training Center (NTC) rotations at exercises and home-base training.

August 2, 2018
Posted by George I. Seffers
Marines from the 1st Marine Division test out the Mobile User Objective System at a Field User Evaluation in Camp Pendleton, California. MUOS is a satellite communication system that uses commercial cell phone technology on the battlefield. Marine Corps Systems Command will begin fielding MUOS in the fourth quarter of 2018. Credit: U.S. Marine Corps photo by Eddie Young

The U.S. Navy announced today that U.S. Strategic Command has approved the service’s next-generation narrowband satellite communication system for expanded operational use. The authorization paves the way for Navy and Marine Corps “early-adopter” commands to use the system on deployment as early as this fall, primarily in the Pacific theater, according to the written announcement. The Navy's on-orbit, five-satellite constellation—the Mobile User Objective System, or MUOS—began providing legacy satellite communications shortly after the system’s first satellite launch in 2012.

August 1, 2018
By George I. Seffers
Data-rich 3D maps would let soldiers spend time viewing terrain from a variety of perspectives to gain an intuitive sense of the battlespace before megacity operations. Courtesy photo

Some U.S. Army officials and other experts warn that the nation’s military may one day have to do something militaries throughout history have tried to avoid: fight in major cities. Urban combat, in many ways, neutralizes any technological advantage, but some technologies, such as robots and 3D learning maps, could still provide an edge.

Urban combat, even in smaller cities, is the most complicated, chaotic, brutal and bloody form of warfare. But experts increasingly caution that it is only a matter of time before warfighting in megacities—cities with populations of 10 million or more—becomes necessary.

August 1, 2018
By Lt. Gen. Robert M. Shea, USMC (Ret.)

Tactical command, control and communications (C3) is significantly changing as the U.S. military retools amid 17 years of conflict in the Middle East. During this period, much of the long-term joint tactical C3 planning and resourcing was overtaken in favor of addressing immediate—and vital—needs on the battlefield.

July 17, 2018
By Kimberly Underwood
From left, Army Undersecretary Ryan D. McCarthy, Army Secretary Mark Esper, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley and Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville hold a briefing about the Army’s new Futures Command on July 13 at the Pentagon.

The U.S. Army took another step toward developing its fourth command when it announced that Austin, Texas, would be the location of the new Futures Command.

The service is pursuing the new command as a way to modernize and position itself “to achieve clear overmatch in future conflicts,” according to the Army. Having a central location for its modernization will unify its efforts, Army leaders said.

“The creation of the Army’s Futures Command constitutes the Army’s most significant reorganization effort since 1973,” said Army Secretary Mark Esper. “It is a new organization that epitomizes our commitment to bold reform and transforming the Army’s modernization process.”

July 11, 2018
By John Kupcinski
Cyber threat intelligence may be helpful in countering government fraud, waste and abuse. Credit: Shutterstock

Fraud, waste, and abuse (FWA) remains a major challenge to the federal government. From 2012 to 2016, the 73 federal inspectors general (IGs), who are on the frontline of fighting FWA, identified $173 billion in potential savings and reported $88 billion in investigative recoveries and 36,000 successful prosecutions and civil actions.

June 18, 2018
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
A Marine with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit's Force Reconnaissance Platoon waits on the flight deck while training in the Pacific Ocean. Marine Corps Systems Command unveiled its new Binocular Night Vision Goggle II that it is fielding to Force Recon and Explosive Ordnance Disposal Marines this year, with full capability next year. Photo credit: Staff Sgt. T. T. Parish, USMC

U.S. Marines on the move need to be able to negotiate the battlefield effectively. Part of operating on the fly also means working in the dark. To aid warfighters, the Marine Corps Systems Command (MCSC) recently began fielding advanced binoculars to help with improved vision at night, according to a June 18 report from Kaitlin Kelly, MCSC Office of Public Affairs and Communication.

June 29, 2018
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
The addition of the U.S. Marines Corps’ networking on the move platform known as NOTM-A Increment II system onto the MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft will enhance the Marines’ abilities to communicate in the air. (U.S. Marine Corps photo courtesy of Chris Wagner)

The effort of the U.S. Marine Corps Systems Command in bringing the networking on-the-move platform to more aircraft is coming to fruition. The service announced on June 28 that it had placed a new iteration of tactical network family of systems known as the NOTM onto the MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft.

The new NOTM-Airborne Increment II System can provide communications access for up to five users, including access to networks, voice, email, video and texting capabilities while airborne, command officials noted.

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