Air Force officers in charge of creating air tasking orders have long developed mission plans at air operations centers, known as AOCs, or centralized hubs in a specific command. The Air Force is looking at diversifying and decentralizing how and where those plans are created to add depth and resiliency to the process. This may be needed as designing air battle plans against potential peer threats will only grow in complexity in the future, experts say.
The U.S. Army is going for a clean sweep in its efforts to modernize its network. Instead of taking an item-by-item approach, the service is striving to modernize its entire network enterprise by introducing new and compatible technologies from bases to battlefields.
“The Army is going to be doing a huge modernization, and the network is on the priority list,” says Col. Enrique Costas, USA, project manager, Defense Communications and Army Transmission Systems (PM DCATS). “And we are going to achieve a lot of these successes with the help of industry and our sister services—it’s a joint fight and it’s a joint environment.”
On May 23 the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, known as MIT, announced that it had signed an agreement with the U.S. Air Force to carry out fundamental research on artificial intelligence.
The MIT-Air Force AI Accelerator program is aimed at bringing rapid prototyping, scalability and the use of advanced algorithms and systems into Air Force operations.
“MIT and the U.S. Air Force have signed an agreement to launch a new program designed to make fundamental advances in artificial intelligence that could improve Air Force operations while also addressing broader societal needs,” a university official stated.
Cyber is fundamentally changing the national security landscape. David Sanger, national security correspondent for The New York Times and author of The Perfect Weapon, used his keynote address on day two of the AFCEA-GMU C4I and Cyber Center Symposium not to explain what is happening, but why this is happening.
To illustrate the new age of weaponizing information, Sanger described the differences between Watergate and the hack of the DNC in December 2016. The Russians didn’t have to do anything the Watergate hackers did.
On May 17, the 53rd Wing of the U.S. Air Force at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida celebrated the establishment of its new 87th Electronic Warfare Squadron that will join the wing’s 53rd Electronic Warfare Group.
Lt. Gen. Bruce Crawford, USA, chief information officer/G-6, U.S. Army, suggests the possibility of an Internet of Strategic Things in addition to the Internet of Tactical Things.
“We’ve had some really good discussions about the Internet of Things. That was a thing a couple of years ago. And then we started talking about the Internet of Tactical Things. I think what’s on the horizon is more of a discussion of the Internet of Strategic Things,” Gen. Crawford told the audience on the second day of the AFCEA TechNet Cyber 2019 conference in Baltimore.
When the Defense Enterprise Office Solutions (DEOS) request for quotes was released last month, it gave industry a way to leverage a variety of cloud solutions in support of defense missions. The goal of this enterprise cloud strategy is to help the Department of Defense (DOD) standardize, centralize and save money, as well as to enhance DOD capabilities. It is a path toward a multivendor, multicloud environment, according to Kevin Tate of the DOD Office of the Chief Information Officer.
The Defense Information Systems Agency is a combat support agency, and as such, is charged with supplying key information technology to warfighters and civilians around the globe. The agency provides voice, data, video, spectrum, computing and other communication capabilities to combatant commands, the Joint Staff, the services, offices and agencies in Department of Defense and the intelligence community.
By definition, the Defense Information Systems Agency Mission Partner Engagement Office’s role is to engage with customers. So it makes sense that the office is working to improve how it helps the myriad of Department of Defense and intergovernmental employees that need the information services provided by the combat support agency known as DISA.
Communications requirements are changing in tandem with new modes of military battlefield requirements. Until a few years ago, voice had been the predominant communications medium. Variable message format messages were adopted as the digitally aided close air support standard, however even with a concerted effort by the U.S. Defense Department to standardize requirements, there continues to be longstanding issues with interoperability, including significant loss of key data and slow refresh rates.
In an era of complex geopolitics of peer and near-peer adversaries racing to advance electronic warfare (EW), the U.S. Marine Corps, like the other services, is centering on improving its signals intelligence (SIGINT) and electronic warfare operations. The service is examining its training and how it integrates the capabilities into its battalions.
The Marine Corps’ efforts in so-called SIGINT and EW was the focus of this year’s Signals Intelligence Day held on Capitol Hill and organized by the Association of Old Crows Advocacy’s Signals Intelligence Industry Partnership.
Last year, the Air Force announced it was moving the 24th Air Force, which specializes in cyber operations, and the service’s Cyber Mission from the Air Force Space Command to the Air Combat Command. This spring, the Air Combat Command is working on the merger of those cyber components with its intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities from the 25th Air Force and integrating cyber into its operations.
The move, which started eight months ago, signifies a shift in the Air Force’s emphasis on putting cyber into everyday operations, said Col. Chad Raduege, USAF, who has been nominated for appointment to brigadier general, director of cyberspace and information dominance, Air Combat Command (ACC).
The requirement to partner with allied nations and share a classified network will only grow in the coming years, leaders say. In combined exercises, engagements or missions, coalition partners need to be able to connect digitally to share communications, resources and information to strengthen defenses and partnerships. At the Pentagon, the Joint Staff is working to improve coalition systems and how the U.S. can connect securely to those networks outside of the national networks, one expert shares.
“The Army is engaged in a protracted struggle to out-innovate our future competitors, and right now, we are not postured for success.”
This statement kicked off congressional testimony by four senior U.S. Army leaders, including now-Gen. John Murray, USA, commanding general of the new Army Futures Command (AFC). The command’s mission is to “out-innovate” our rivals.
I think this statement succinctly captures the paramount challenge of being hidebound by bureaucracy, fragmented efforts, conventional processes and, most importantly, an acute intolerance of perceived risk.
U.S. Army leaders agree the way forward is through a fundamental cultural shift—a shift that needs to be inclusive of both strategic and tactical sides for a more holistic strategy based on mission objectives and operational needs.
The U.S. Army is leading the charge on the military’s multidomain battle concept—but will federal IT networks enable this initiative, or inhibit it?
The network is critical to the Army’s vision of combining the defense domains of land, air, sea, space and cyberspace to protect and defend against adversaries on all fronts. As Gen. Stephen Townsend, USA, remarked to AFCEA conference attendees earlier this year, the Army is readying for a future reliant on telemedicine, 3D printing and other technologies that will prove integral to multidomain operations. “The network needs to enable all that,” said Townsend.
The Army is transforming its Cyber Command to meet the challenges of a multidomain battlefield. Just over eight years old, the command, located at Ft. Gordon, Georgia, will evolve by 2028 into something possibly called the Army Information Warfare Operations Command, which will fully incorporate cyber, electronic warfare and information operations.
Confronting adversaries on a more complicated battlefield requires advanced tools for a U.S. Army more comfortable operating in the traditional domains of land, sea, air and space. The new Cyber Situational Understanding program of record, however, will give the U.S. Army an increased understanding with actionable information of the cyber domain, explained Portia Crowe, chief, Cyber Engineering at the Army’s Program Executive Office Command Control Communications – Tactical (PEO C3T).
Crowe headed up the AFCEA Aberdeen Chapter’s 4th Annual C4ISR Cyber Panel on March 6 and spoke to SIGNAL Magazine in an interview.
With the establishment of the Advanced Manufacturing Operations Cell, or AMOC, at the Marine Corps Systems Command, Marines can now get round-the-clock support for 3D printing, the command announced last week.
The AMOC team will be on hand to answer questions, field requests for 3D printing, as well as “fully vet” any part that requires fabrication by a Marine organization, which includes required legal and safety reviews. The AMOC is not limited to helping with 3D printing, but can assist with all forms of manufacturing and sustainment, reported Monique Randolph, of the command's Office of Pubic Affairs.
The U.S. Navy is massing information to an unprecedented degree to serve its warfighting needs. This effort goes far beyond traditional sensor data fusion: the sea service is drawing data from virtually every corner of the infosphere to arm its people with the information weapons they will need to prevail in a potential great-power conflict.
Two key approaches stand out. First, the Navy is collecting information from across its vast array of data collection elements to paint a unified situational awareness picture for both operators and decision makers. Second, the sea service is adding open-source information to the mix so it can prevail in the war of ideas that defines most conflict scenarios.