Defense Operations

March 3, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
The newly commissioned National Security Cutter Midgett conducts sea trials on February 25. The U.S. Coast Guard needs to be more nimble in the Pacific region. Credit: U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters photo courtesy of Huntington Ingalls Industries

The seas of the Indo-Pacific region are an increasingly complex maritime environment. To combat an increase in nefarious activity, protect U.S. economic security and thwart brazen adversaries, the U.S. Coast Guard is adding resources to its operations there, says Vice Adm. Linda Fagan, USCG, commander, U.S. Coast Guard Defense Force West and commander, Pacific Area, presented a keynote address Thursday at AFCEA’s TechNet Indo-Pacific conference.

March 3, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
The Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Ballarat sails alongside the USS Nimitz as a U.S. Navy helicopter lands on the flight deck. The United States and its Indo-Pacific allies are working to improve their communications interoperability as they face growing challenges in the vast region. Credit: U.S. Navy

The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) is placing a greater emphasis on communication, especially with allies and partners, as it faces growing threats across the vast region. The scope of those threats and the need to confront them in a coalition approach was described by three officers from the United States and Australia on the third day of TechNet Indo-Pacific, running virtually March 1-3.

March 2, 2021
By George I. Seffers
Paratroopers secure their location in preparation for the extraction of senior Afghan and coalition military leaders following a key leader engagement in southeastern Afghanistan, December 29, 2019. Complex policies for connecting networks and sharing data remains a significant barrier for working with allies and coalition partners, military officials say. Credit: Army Master Sgt. Alejandro Licea

With a new Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) strategy document wending its way through the Pentagon, multiple high-ranking officers indicate that complex networks and related policies related remain the top impediment to working with allies and partner nations.

The strategy is being spearheaded by Lt. Gen. Dennis Crall, the director of command, control, communications, computers/cyber, and the chief information officer for the Joint Staff, J-6. According to Brig. Gen. Robert Parker, USA, J-6 deputy director for the Joint Staff, the document has been sent to the chief of staff and vice chief of staff for approval and could land on the desk of the secretary of defense in the coming days or weeks.

March 3, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
Lt. Gen. Dennis Crall, USMC, director for Command, Control, Communications, and Computers/Cyber and chief information officer, the Joint Staff; J-6, pictured working at the Pentagon in December, sees allies and partners, and the associated Mission Partner Environment, as crucial aspects of joint all domain warfighting. Credit: Photo courtesy of The Joint Staff Public Affairs

The U.S. Department of Defense is progressing in its efforts to address how it will fight in a joint all-domain warfighting environment. At the center of that work is how to build a Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2) platform, and one in which allies and partners can effectively communicate and operate as well, explained Lt. Gen. Dennis Crall, USMC, director for Command, Control, Communications, and Computers/Cyber and chief information officer, the Joint Staff, J-6.

March 1, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
The USS Wilbur (l) conducts replenishment at sea with Japanese and French ships. The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command is expanding its exercise and training activities with allies and partners to boost its deterrent capabilities across the vast region.  U.S. Navy courtesy of Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force

“The erosion of conventional deterrence vis-à-vis China” is the greatest danger the United States faces in the Indo-Pacific region, says the head of the vast area’s command. Adm. Philip Davidson, USN, commander of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM), added that “without a valid and convincing conventional deterrent, China will be emboldened to take action to supplant the established rules-based international order.”

February 24, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
Gen. Joseph Lengyel (l), USAFG, chief of the National Guard Bureau, speaks with Col. Hall, USAG from the Louisiana National Guard during a 2020 tour of the state’s Public Safety warehouse supporting the COVID-19 response in Baton Rouge. The Space Force could have a guard component, but the Defense Department needs to complete a study on the viability. Credit: U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Toby Valadie

In the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), lawmakers asked the Department of Defense to study the personnel structure of the Space Force, including a possible guard component, similar to the other services’ National Guard forces. That study is still pending, explained Sen. Jack Reed, D-Rhode Island, chairman of the Senate’s Armed Services Committee, but the possibility remains for creation of a Space Force National Guard.

February 22, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
Another way specific joint warfighting roles and missions could be defined is through the Joint Requirements Oversight Council, says Air Force Chief Gen. Charles Brown (c). Gen. Brown recently visited Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, with David Foskey (r), 573rd Manufacturing Squadron director and Georgia Congressman Austin Scott (l) for an update on the base’s propeller overhaul for the C-130, a key aircraft for joint warfighting. Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Tommie Horton

With the U.S. military’s push to be able to operate across all warfighting domains—sea, air, land, space and cyberspace—simultaneously with all of the services, the allocation of combat roles presents a potential sticking point. Top leaders at the Pentagon’s Joint Staff are optimistic, however, that the designation of each service’s roles and missions in Joint All Domain Operations, or JADO, can be resolved through several processes. The Joint Warfighting Concept, the budgetary process and top-level discussions with officials from the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), among other activities, will all help in that allocation decision-making.

February 16, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
The U.S. Army is in the process of building requirements for a broad portfolio of electronic warfare solutions, reports Col. Daniel Holland, USA, Army Capability Manager for Electronic Warfare, Cyber Center of Excellence, Fort Gordon, Georgia.

Over the last several years, the U.S. Army has worked pointedly to build up its electronic warfare capabilities. From the early days of only having small groups of electronic warfare soldiers that ventured to counter radio-controlled improvised explosive devices in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Army has since retooled its efforts. The service is pursuing a broad campaign of development, is continuing to identify capability gaps and has successfully fielded more advanced tools to operate and dominate in the electromagnetic spectrum.

February 8, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
Gen. John Raymond, USSF, chief of space operations, is seeing increased cooperation among the new U.S. Space Force and international partners.

The formation of the U.S. Space Force has led to more advanced cooperation in the space domain with existing and new partners, according to the force’s chief of space operations. Gen. John Raymond, USSF, noted that some nations even followed the U.S. example in giving space an increased priority as a warfighting domain.

Speaking at a Defense Writers Group media roundtable, Gen. Raymond stated that the United States is stronger as a nation with a stable and secure space domain. “The United States is a spacefaring nation, and we’ve long known that access to space and freedom to maneuver in space underpin all the instruments of our national power,” he declared.

February 3, 2021
By George I. Seffers
Military officials intend to counter-drone systems twice a year, with the first demonstration taking place in April, and fielding the first systems next year. Credit: Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock

The U.S. military should begin fielding low-cost, low-collateral counter-drone systems as early as next year, officials told reporters in a February 2 conference call.

The Army has been designated the lead service for deploying systems to counter small unmanned aerial system (C-sUAS) technologies across the department. The service recently released its C-sUAS strategy . The strategy provides the framework for addressing sUAS hazards and threats in a variety of operating environments, including the U.S. homeland, host nations and contingency locations.

February 2, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost (l), USAF, who is now the commander of Air Mobility Command, greets the since retired Gen. Paul Selva, USAF, who was vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, before they flew the third and fourth delivered KC-46A Pegasus refueling aircraft in January 2019, from Boeing at King County International Airport in Seattle. Credit: DOD Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. James McCann

The U.S. Air Force plays a vital role to the rest of the U.S. military in providing airlift response, mid-air refueling, aero-medical evacuation and global air mobility support for military operations, as well as during humanitarian crises. To perform these missions, the Air Force depends on a variety of tanker and cargo aircraft including the KC-135, KC-10 and KC-46. However, in addition to these more traditional roles for the air fleet, the service is employing the aircraft more and more as flying communications nodes for the growing and ever-important mission of enabling Joint All Domain Operations (JADO) and Joint All Domain Command and Control, or JADC2.

February 1, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
A sailor keeps watch aboard the USS John S. McCain as the guided missile destroyer asserts navigational rights and freedoms under international law in the South China Sea near the Spratly Islands. The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) routinely conducts freedom of navigation operations as part of its mission to ensure free and secure passage in the vast region.  7th Fleet

The push toward multidomain operations is geared toward meeting the multifaceted threat U.S. forces face worldwide, but its effects already are being felt in the Indo-Pacific region. Three nation-state adversaries, each with its own flavor of threat, are influencing U.S. efforts in that vast region to maintain peace and security.

February 1, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
A U.S. Navy operations specialist communicates with bridge wing watchstanders aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Sterett. The Navy is moving full speed ahead on its modernization efforts, but it needs more rapid insertion of information technologies into the fleet and ashore.  U.S. Navy photo

The U.S. Navy is looking for speed—not speed of platforms or vehicles, but of innovation. Introducing new capabilities into the force rapidly is vitally important to maintain the combat edge necessary to deter or defeat adversaries that are building up steam in their efforts to confront the U.S. military.

This will require tapping industry for innovative information technology advances. Ensuring that speed of capability may require working with the commercial sector to steer it into the right areas to suit naval needs. Ultimately, software-defined systems may hold the key to keeping ahead of the deployment curve in technology-based systems.

February 1, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
An eight-ship joint coalition formation flies over Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, during exercise Cope North 2020 in February 2020. Guam is proving to be a strategic hub for the United States’ efforts in the Indo-Pacific region, the military’s priority theater.  U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Larry E. Reid Jr.

Always strategic, the island of Guam in the western Pacific Ocean in Micronesia is playing a growing role in the contested, troublesome, near-peer competition environment. The Defense Department is investing more into the military facilities of this U.S. territory, including adding networking and bandwidth solutions; joint all-domain command and control; and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance solutions as well as additional U.S. forces. The measures will add key communications and advanced capabilities to the island as well as increase the military’s power projection abilities.

February 1, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
The director of operations of the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron speaks to the aircrew of a U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer during a Veterans Day flyover at Asan Invasion Beach on Guam, November 11, 2020. Communications capabilites, whether they are for a ceremonial flyover or for vital military operations are necessary to Guam and the vast and remote Indo-Pacific region, and are something that the Defense Information Systems Agency is investing in heavilly.  U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. David Owsianka

Given the remoteness of the Indo-Pacific region and the growing role of Guam in the theater, the Defense Information Systems Agency, or DISA, has been heavily investing in information technology and communications capabilities for the U.S. territory.   

February 1, 2021
By Lt. Gen. Robert M. Shea, USMC (Ret.)

The Indo-Pacific region continues to increase in importance and activity. A broad range of actions must be taken to preserve democracy and freedom in this most critical region. The threat to the democratic ideals respected around the world is not abstract but real, and it comes from multiple sources. Stopping the march against human rights violations, promotion of destructive economic, geopolitical activity and threatening military actions requires proactive, not reactive, measures. These measures must be thoughtfully and rapidly implemented.

January 14, 2021
By Maryann Lawlor
U.S. Army soldiers and Defense Department contractors collaborated at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, during Project Convergence 20 to initiate testing exercises for new multidomain operations weapons systems. U.S. Army photo by Daniel J. Alkana, 22nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

The U.S. Army is focusing on how to change its processes to be faster and more agile. One fundamental shift is in its approach to leveraging commercial solutions as well as those the other services and other organizations such as government laboratories have developed. These nearer-to-prime-time technologies would be available faster than PowerPoint capabilities.

January 13, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) Ocean Sciences Division tests the Mantas unmanned surface vehicle’s ability to conduct a detailed survey near Panama City Beach, Florida. The Navy is relying on help from the NRL and other laboratories to build a cadre of unmanned vehicles as a fleet multiplier. Credit: NRL/Daniel Parry

The Naval Sea Systems Command has made great progress in advancing the service's vision of developing a family of unmanned surface and undersea vehicles. To accomplish this task, it is nurturing an effort to add unmanned vessels, improving autonomous capabilities and supporting the open architectures required to share them across various platforms.

January 7, 2021
Posted by: George I. Seffers
Caption: The U.S. Defense Department has released a new strategy for countering the proliferation of small unmanned aerial systems. The strategy is designed to provide the framework for addressing the threat to within the United States and internationally. Credit: Lobachad/Shutterstock

The U.S. Defense Department released today its strategy for countering small unmanned aircraft systems, which have become a growing threat both for the homeland and abroad.

January 7, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
An unarmed Minuteman III launches during a developmental test at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, last year. The U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM) is modernizing both its weapon systems and their accompanying Nuclear Command, Control and Communications (NC3). Credit: Air Force photo

The U.S. Nuclear Command, Control and Communications (NC3) system needs be to upgraded as greatly as the weapons that have underpinned U.S. strategic deterrence for 75 years, says the head of the U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM). Adm. Charles R. Richard, USN, STRATCOM commander, told a media briefing, “The NC3 is as important to the strategic deterrence mission as the delivery systems and the weapons complex. And, we are in equal need to recapitalize it alongside the delivery systems.”

January 7, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
The Navy is exploring advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence handle the rapidly increasing amount of sensor data flooding naval intelligence systems. Credit: U.S. Navy photo

The U.S. Navy is looking for speed—not faster platforms or vehicles but innovation. Introducing new capabilities into the force rapidly is vitally important to maintaining the combat edge necessary to deter or defeat adversaries who are building up steam in their efforts to confront the U.S. military.

Accomplishing this task will require tapping industry for novel information technology advances and ensuring its success may entail working with the commercial sector to steer it into the right areas to suit naval needs. Ultimately, software-defined systems may hold the key to staying ahead of the deployment curve in technology-based systems.

December 31, 2020
By George I. Seffers
U.S. military leaders intend to use new satellite constellations designed for Internet of Things purposes to enable greater SATCOM on the battlefield. To do that, Army researchers are developing advanced ground terminal technologies. Courtesy photo by United Launch Alliance

Technological leaps in ground station capabilities will enable the U.S. Army to use new Internet of Things satellite constellations to boost combat communications. Innovative capabilities offer lower latency, higher throughput and greater network resilience with ease of use.

Recent Army experiments, including the Network Modernization Experiment and Project Convergence, have included a range of technologies for enhancing and protecting satellite communications (SATCOM). The capabilities will support the service’s modernization goals such a more resilient network, long-range precision fires, and air and missile defense.

January 1, 2021
Maj. Gen. Jennifer Napper, USA (Ret.)

First things first: Happy New Year, and let this be the beginning of a return to normalcy!

The best part of walking a trade show floor is seeing the unexpected: prototypes of new technology, novel ways to solve the government’s challenges and coincidental meetings with new contacts. As the year unfolds, indications are that trade shows will follow the 2020 model: default to online gatherings while holding out hope for in-person events. In some cases, there will be hybrid meetings featuring both elements.

Is the symbiotic government-industry-academia relationship prepared for this long term? Are existing channels supportive enough for all sides to exchange information and meet the government’s national security needs?

December 23, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
U.S. Army MSG Pavel “Pasha” Palanker, a 17-year combat veteran and Purple Heart recipient facing severe PTSD offers ways to handle stress during the holidays and pandemic. Photo courtesy of the AFCEA Gold Vault Chapter

For U.S. military veterans fighting post-traumatic stress disorder or other combat related injuries, the holidays can be a difficult time, especially in an environment already complicated by the global pandemic. In particular, for U.S. Army MSG Pavel “Pasha” Palanker, a 17-year combat veteran, Purple Heart and Army Commendation Medal with “V” device for Valor recipient, the times have proven to be quite challenging.

December 18, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
Leaders, speaking at AFCEA NOVA's recent Information Technology Day, see the growth of the one-year-old U.S. Space Force as the service works to strike its own path from the U.S. Air Force.

The U.S. Space Force plans to have a mix of about half military and half civilian workers, reaching roughly 16,000 personnel. As of the end of last week, 2,206 enlisted and officer personnel had transferred into the new service, reported Brig. Gen. Shawn Campbell, USAF, deputy director of Personnel, U.S. Space Force. Almost 60 more field-grade officers will move into the Space Force shortly, after Congress approves these non-space operators, who will work in intelligence, cyber, engineering or acquisition roles.

December 16, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
A soldier attaches long-range radio equipment to a Humvee. A GAO report warns that adversaries could take control of the electromagnetic spectrum in the battlespace if the Defense Department doesn't establish effective plans and oversight of its EMS efforts. Credit: U.S. Air Force photo

The U.S. Defense Department’s new electromagnetic spectrum (EMS) strategy will fall short of countering enemy EMS activities without specific organizational and process oversight, according to a report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The GAO is recommending greater oversight and specific metrics be built around designated leadership to ensure that the department’s own goals are met.

December 2, 2020
By George I. Seffers
The vast troves of personal data on U.S. citizens are now being weaponized by foreign adversaries, panelists warn.at TechNet Cyber. Credit: Meranna/Shutterstock

Massive amounts of sensitive information on U.S. citizens are being collected, created, shared, bought and sold, and in some cases used as a weapon by the country’s adversaries, according to a panel of experts speaking at the AFCEA TechNet Cyber conference, a virtual event held December 1-3.

The information is gathered and sold by companies such as Facebook and Google and the producers of a wide range of applications, programs and technologies. 

December 3, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
The Defense Information Systems Agency's Joint Service Provider, which supplies crucial information technology to the nation's top military leaders, such as Gen. Mark Milley, USA, chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, is looking for industry innovation in network and communications capabilities. Credit: U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Marisol Walker

The Defense Information Systems Agency’s (DISA's) Joint Service Provider, or JSP, is looking for industry help. The JSP is the information technology (IT) service provider supporting the highest authorities at the Department of Defense, including the Office of Secretary of Defense, all of the U.S. military department heads, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Joint Staff, and most of the other senior DOD leaders within the Pentagon and throughout the national capital region, explained Sajeel Ahmed, the JSP’s vice director at DISA. Over the next year, the JSP will be issuing industry solicitations for network hardware, cybersecurity solutions and communications technologies.

December 2, 2020
By George I. Seffers
A Marine uses a radio during a field exercise at Camp Hansen in Okinawa, Japan, in 2017. A resilient network is a key component for the Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) concept. The Pentagon is developing a strategy to enable JADC2. Credit: Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Carl King

Pentagon officials are developing a strategy related to the joint all-domain command and control (JADC2) concept that should be delivered soon to the combatant commands, according to Lt. Gen. Dennis Crall, USMC, the Joint Staff's chief information officer and director of command, control, communications and computers, also known as the J-6.

Gen. Crall made the comments during the AFCEA TechNet Cyber conference, a virtual event held December 1-3.

December 1, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
A U.S. Marine with Marine Rotational Force-Europe 20.2, Marine Forces Europe and Africa, and Norwegian soldiers pause for surveillance during Exercise Thunder Reindeer in Setermoen, Norway, in May 2020.  USMC photo by Lance Cpl. Chase W. Drayer

Given adversarial threats in the Indo-Pacific region and Europe, especially from Russia and China, the Arctic region’s strategic importance is increasing. As such, over the last several years, the U.S. military has focused on growing its cold weather operation capabilities. Beginning in 2016, the U.S. Marine Corps in particular, through host and NATO ally Norway, has maintained a presence in the Kingdom of Norway to train and develop the skills necessary to operate in extreme conditions.

December 1, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
U.S. Marines participating in the Thunder Reindeer exercise in Setermoen, Norway in late May practice their cold weather survival skills while living in the Arctic. Credit: USMC photo by Lance Cpl. Chase Drayer

Even in the summer, Norway offers challenging, rugged terrain that helps hone the cold-weather survival and mountain warfare skills of the U.S. Marines. In May, Marines and sailors with 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, along with the Marine Forces Europe and Africa, deployed to northern Norway above the Arctic Circle as part of Marine Rotational Force-Europe (MRF-E) 20.2. The warfighters worked directly with the Norwegian Army to advance their skills and improve allied interoperability, says Lt. Col. Brian Donlon, USMC, commander of 3rd Battalion, who leads the MRF-E contingent.

December 1, 2020
By Lt. Gen. Robert M. Shea, USMC (Ret.)

Most experts agree: defense information technologies increasingly will come from the commercial sector. Traditional contractors will continue to manufacture systems requested by the military, but now nontraditional firms will be providing the defense community with systems fueled by innovative capabilities. The result will be hybrid information systems and hardware that will owe their origin to the private sector.

So, if the commercial sector is to be the source of military communications capabilities, why do we need a defense organization such as the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) dedicated to providing information system services to the defense community? The answer lies in two words: defense and community.

December 1, 2020
By Maj. Gen. Jennifer Napper, USA (Ret.)

When the United States entered World War II 79 years ago this month, it embarked on an unprecedented period of change. With the attack on Pearl Harbor, traditional notions of work, education, security and every other aspect of life in America were pushed into a new reality. Today—albeit without a declared war—deployment of technology has created similar conditions for society-level change that the country must embrace.

November 20, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
Two B-1B Lancer aircraft prepare to land during a Bomber Task Force deployment at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam in October. The move to that type of bomber mission has proven to be successful so far, says Pacific Air Forces leader Gen. Kenneth Wilsbach, USAF.

The U.S. Air Force’s shift away from continuously present bomber squadrons in the Indo-Pacific area of responsibility has actually resulted in more bomber flights, reports Pacific Air Forces Commander Gen. Kenneth Wilsbach, USAF. In April, the service ended Continuous Bomber Presence missions in the Indo-Pacific Theater, which it had conducted with squadrons deployed to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, since March of 2004.

November 19, 2020
By Julianne Simpson
Credit: Shutterstock/K_E_N

The complexity of multidomain operations presents both challenges and opportunities in the effort to obtain an information advantage. To overcome these challenges and exploit the opportunities to gain an edge, the Army is modernizing.

November 6, 2020
By George I. Seffers
The Defense Information Systems Agency provides a wide array of communications support for warfighters around the globe, including modernized electromagnetic spectrum operations tools and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems. Credit: U.S. Defense Department Photo/Gunnery Sgt. Ezekiel Kitandwe

Despite the global pandemic, the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) has never stopped providing warfighters with critical connections needed to conduct multidomain warfare and never let up on the daily battles in cyberspace, says Vice Adm. Nancy Norton, USN, the agency’s director and the commander of Joint Forces Headquarters for the Department of Defense Information Systems Network.

Adm. Norton made the comments during an AFCEA TechNet Cyber webinar on November 5. The webinar is part of a series of webinars leading up to the TechNet Cyber conference scheduled for December 1-3.

November 4, 2020
By Kim Underwood
U.S. Marines with 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division conduct live fire range training in cold weather conditions at the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center, in Bridgeport, California, in preparation for their deployment to Norway's high north above the Arctic circle. Credit: USMC photo by Lance Cpl. Jacqueline Parsons

Over the past several years, the U.S. military has focused on growing its cold-weather operation capabilities. The U.S. Marine Corps, through host and NATO ally Norway, has maintained a presence in the region to train and develop the skills necessary to operate in extreme conditions.

November 1, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
An aurora borealis appears in the night sky over the USS Thomas Hudner during an exercise in the Arctic. U.S. and allied forces are paying greater attention to operations in the Arctic and the North Atlantic in the face of an increased Russian threat.  U.S. Navy photo

The U.S. Navy is adapting its Atlantic forces to interoperate better with those of its NATO allies while also incorporating navies from non-alliance countries. This approach includes incorporating a more expeditionary nature into U.S. forces while also extending the areas NATO and non-NATO forces operate to confront a growing multidomain threat from Russia. Traditional North Atlantic naval activities now extend into the Arctic Ocean, where changing conditions have opened up new threat windows.

November 1, 2020
By Lt. Gen. Robert M. Shea, USMC (Ret.)

The U.S. military is striving to develop concepts supporting broad-spectrum joint operations for future conflicts, yet hurdles remain. Military operations today are much more complex than ever before. Technology is driving change, and threats are evolving rapidly. U.S. forces could find themselves in an increasingly reactive role rather than one that drives the agenda for future operations.

November 1, 2020
By Shaun Waterman

We live in perilous times. The COVID-19 pandemic has precipitated an unprecedented international economic contraction. A World Bank report in June called the COVID-caused global recession the most far reaching since 1870.

In particular, the defense sector faces an uncertain future. The pandemic is threatening to change the way Americans think about security and raise questions about U.S. defense spending—which significantly exceeds the combined defense budgets of all its adversaries.

November 1, 2020
By Maj. Gen. Jennnifer Napper, USA (Ret.)

In the book Bracketing the Enemy, John R. Walker writes about the World War II practice of having forward observers accompany infantrymen on the front lines to send targeting information back to artillery gunners. This innovation helped the United States win crucial battles because gunners benefited from timely and accurate information instead of guessing target locations.

October 30, 2020
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
The Defense Department's new electromagnetic spectrum strategy looks to bolster the nation's associated operational environment and security. Credit: Shutterstock/Fouad A. Saad

The U.S. is facing an increasingly congested, constrained and contested electromagnetic spectrum. Adversaries are challenging the United State’s dominance across the air, land, sea, space and cyberspace domains, which threatens our reliance on the spectrum. And because the United States depends on electromagnetic spectrum for much more than warfighting purposes, our nation’s economic wellbeing is at stake, says Defense Secretary Mark Esper.

October 22, 2020
By Julianne Simpson
Katie Arrington, chief information security officer for Acquisition and Sustainment, U.S. Department of Defense, says there’s no point in developing software if it’s not secure, during a webinar on securing the federal software supply chain.

Anyone moving through the ecosystem of software development and cyber over the last few decades has heard cool words to describe it: Waterfall, Cobalt, Agile, DevOps and now DevSecOps.

DevSecOps may be the latest term but the idea behind it remains constant: Security should be a priority from the start.

October 20, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
The Bulgarian Chief of Defense, Adm. Emil Eftimov (l) visits Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) in Mons, Belgium in August, meeting with Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) General Tod Wolters (second from l) and his staff. To aid the decision making of SACEUR leaders, advanced geospatial information system technologies are needed. Credit: NATO Photo by SMSgt Frederic Rosaire (FRA)

The strategic importance of NATO’s military forces in Europe remains high, especially in the rear area of Europe, as NATO works to strengthen the alliance and improve deterrence measures against adversaries, including Russia. Because deterrence relies on situational awareness, data and information that feed a clear operational picture are critical components, say Leendert Van Bochoven, global lead for National Security and NATO, IBM, in The Netherlands; and René Kleint, director, Business Development Logistics & Medical Service, Elektroniksystem-und Logistik (ESG) GmbH, in Germany.

October 16, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
An aurora borealis appears in the night sky over the USS Thomas Hudner during an exercise in the Arctic. U.S. and allied forces are paying greater attention to operations in the Arctic and the North Atlantic in the face of an increased Russian threat. Credit: U.S. Navy photo

The U.S. Navy is adapting its Atlantic forces to improve interoperability with its NATO allies while incorporating navies from non-alliance countries. Traditional North Atlantic naval activities now extend into the Arctic Ocean, where changing conditions have opened up new threat windows.

October 19, 2020
By George I. Seffers
The Department of Defense has selected a mobile power program from Army Futures Command to increase the speed at which on-the-move power capabilities are delivered to the battlefield. Credit: Army photo by Dan Lafontaine, CCDC C5ISR Center Public Affairs

U.S. Army researchers plan to demonstrate in December and March capabilities that could lead to a secure, mobile power grid capable of automatically providing electricity from the best available source, including batteries, vehicles or diesel generators.

October 15, 2020
By George I. Seffers
Artificial intelligence and machine learning are critical for countering small unmanned aircraft systems, Army officials say. Credit: U.S. Army photo/Spc. Derek Mustard

The U.S. Army’s joint strategy document for countering small unmanned aerial systems should be headed soon to the Secretary of Defense for approval, Army officials say, and artificial intelligence and machine learning are crucial to the vision.

During a telephone discussion with reporters, Maj. Gen. Sean Gainey, USA, director of the Joint Counter-Unmanned Aircraft Systems Office and director of fires, G-3/5/7, described artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) as “critical” to the military’s efforts to counter unmanned aerial systems (UAS).

October 8, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
U.S. Air Force Airmen monitor computers in support of the Advanced Battle Management System Onramp 2 exercise. Multiple exercises took place this fall to prove some of the initial concepts of joint warfighting across all domains. Credit: Air Force photo by Senior Airman Daniel Hernandez

The U.S. military is rapidly pursuing Joint All-Domain Command and Control to confront near-peer adversaries, including China and Russia. Innovative computing, software and advanced data processing, as well as emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, cloud and 5G communications, will be needed. Leaders also understand they must shed some of the military’s old practices to succeed.

October 13, 2020
By Technical Sgt. Bonnie Rushing, USAF
Technical Sgt. Bonnie Rushing, USAF, is accustomed to busting through barriers but says a culture change is necessary to help other women do the same.

Challenge after challenge, women overcome barriers in traditionally male-dominated fields and organizations. Allow me to tell you my story. I am Technical Sgt. Bonnie Rushing in the United States Air Force and I am a woman warrior. I faced challenges from the very beginning of my time in the military, during training, and in operations. Not only have I overcome every obstacle along the way, I have come out on top. Let me take you through my journey as a woman warrior and plead for your aid in continued culture change.

October 9, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
A U.S. Army soldier shouts orders as his unit prepares to assault an objective during exercise Saber Junction in Germany this year. NATO faces its own organizational challenges as it strives to increase the resiliency and effectiveness of its logistics in the face of a newly emerging threat picture. Credit: NATO

New challenges facing the West have compelled NATO to refresh domestic capabilities that have long been overlooked, alliance leaders say. These capabilities focus largely on logistics, but they also encompass new areas of concern such as cybersecurity and the supply chain.