Defense Operations

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 19, 2012
By Beverly Mowery Cooper

 

Sequestration, the U.S. government’s across-the-board deficit reduction mandate, is programmed to go into effect on January 2, 2013, despite universal warnings about the consequences of this action. Under this policy, fiscal year 2013 domestic discretionary spending will see an 8.4 percent cut in appropriated funds, and non-exempt defense spending will suffer a decrease of 9.2 percent. Defense agency budget actions could range from decreasing output to reducing personnel costs, and cuts in the personnel budget would most likely be through furloughs because terminating staff costs money. While operational defense forces in the field would not be cut, their training, equipment, facilities and logistics support could be cut.

November 1, 2012
By George I. Seffers
The Ground Based Sense and Avoid System will allow military operators to fly unmanned aircraft in the same airspace as commercial aircraft so that warfighters can train and prepare for the next conflict.

A new crash avoidance 
system will allow both 
manned and unmanned
 planes to operate 
in U.S. airspace. 

The U.S. Army is developing a collision avoidance system that will allow unmanned and manned aircraft to fly in the same airspace more easily and safely. The first-of-its kind system will enable service operators returning from the war zone to fly drones in the same U.S. skies as civilian aircraft, keeping the warfighters proficient and ready for the next conflict.

October 5, 2012
By Max Cacas

A smart robot with the ability to work side-by-side with human warfighters is the goal of a new Army Research Laboratory (ARL) program involving industry and academia.

At the heart of ARL’s Robotics Collaborative Technology Alliance (RCTA) is $63.2 million in funding designed to advance basic research in key areas linked to the development of autonomous robots, according to Jon Bornstein, chief of ARL’s Autonomous Systems Division and manager for the RCTA.

October 1, 2012
by Kent R. Schneider

 

Since the U.S. General Services Administration scandal over a training conference in Las Vegas, reinforced by concerns regarding two expensive Department of Veterans Affairs conferences, fear has spread across government and industry that government-related conferences are now a thing of the past. This is just not the case—nor should it be.

If government leaders make bad decisions with respect to conferences—or other areas within their job scope—they should be held accountable. Controls should be in place to minimize future abuses. Organizations that support government in conferences that recommend or support such abuses similarly should be penalized.

October 1, 2012
By Robert K. Ackerman

The newly reconstituted Joint Staff office is not just picking up where the previous version left off.

October 1, 2012
By Capt. Charles A. Barton III, USAF

GPS vulnerabilities could be addressed with upgraded long-range navigation.

In an instant, one million people in Tel Aviv are vaporized. Hamas, the terrorist extremist group backed by Iran, has detonated a dirty bomb—a conventional explosive with radioactive material—and is attacking Israel with long-range rockets. Concurrently, the U.S. Air Force loses all communication with its Navigation System Timing and Ranging Global Positioning System satellites. Intelligence reports indicate that Iran has launched multiple antisatellite missiles that have destroyed several navigation satellites, effectively disabling the Global Positioning System.

October 1, 2012
By George I. Seffers

Military radio experts reveal emerging trends in acquisition and technology.

October 1, 2012
By Rita Boland

A key release for Blue Force Tracker brings new benefits to two theaters.

October 1, 2012
By George I. Seffers

The U.S. Air Force soon will begin installing a new system to aid intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance planning and tasking.

Possibly as early as this month, U.S. Air Force officials will begin installing a prototype system that supports the command and control of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance information. The system dramatically reduces manual labor and cuts the planning development process from hours to minutes, allowing warfighters to focus on the mission.

October 1, 2012
By Rita Boland

People, not necessarily technology, come together in a plan to foster creativity in acquisition.

The head of technology information at the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization has initiated a plan to improve how coalition members procure capabilities by focusing first on personnel, not technology. Through the new approach, government, industry and academia will re-frame conversations and have more meaningful dialogues, which should lead to deploying apt solutions more quickly.

September 21, 2012
By Rita Boland

 

The U.S. Defense Department has some hard decisions to make regarding where and how to optimize future research to counter chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) weapons. A new report outlines the challenges that military officials must tackle with department and other partners, warning that the amorphous nature of threats limits the ability to identify or mitigate them all individually.

September 25, 2012
By George I. Seffers

By 2015, U.S. Army officials hope to begin fielding elements of a new electronic warfare system designed to significantly improve operational effectiveness in the electromagnetic spectrum. The system is expected to better address electronic warfare in an era of remotely detonated explosives, but it is only one element in the service's plans to overhaul the full spectrum of electronic warfare capabilities.

September 1, 2012
By Rita Boland
 
Stephen Guerin of Simtable showcases his solution to the common operational picture portion of the second PlugFest mash-up challenge. Guerin won first place in the event.  
September 1, 2012
By Paul A. Strassmann

The benefits of virtualization can be extended to thrifty end-users either through public clouds or via private clouds. The time has come to reach out to the millions of user devices that operate in thousands of separately programmable silos that require spending money on labor-intensive overhead. U.S.

Defense Department projects can be brought into a consolidated cloud environment where much lower costs and increased security can deliver immediate benefits.

The May 21, 2012, issue of Forbes magazine describes how start-up firms acquire information technologies without spending much money. These firms use commercial cloud services instead of setting up their own data centers.

September 1, 2012
By Max Cacas
 
The Holland features the I-Mast 400 from Thales Nederland, a new comminications mast that can be built modularly, saving time and money in the shipyard. The 52-ton, 370-foot radio mast also is designed so that most equipment maintenance can be conducted inside the mast structure, reducing the number of crew needed for this work.  
September 1, 2012
By Max Cacas
Patrick Grother is a computer scientist with the NIST Information Technology Laboratory, in charge of the biometric portion of the FIPS 201 update.  
Patrick Grother is a computer scientist with the NIST Information Technology Laboratory, in charge of the biometric portion of the FIPS 201 update.  
September 1, 2012
By Michael A. Robinson

A well-known communications technology company is bucking the trend of reduced sales to government and the defense sector. Its leadership sees the advent of new technologies and capabilities creating a boom market for government organizations looking to tap that innovation wellspring.

Juniper Networks is well-known throughout the high-technology world as a key supplier of high-performance networking gear and related products for companies that provide online and wireless services. But that focus on supporting the bandwidth and security needs of Internet providers, corporate networks and data centers obscures a key fact about this Silicon Valley giant—the federal government ranks as its next largest customer by far.

September 1, 2012
By George I. Seffers

 

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