Defense Operations

By Joe Kim

There is no escaping the barrage of technology and devices ever-present in our modern lives. Consider that many middle school kids today are iPhone-wielding and Fitbit-wearing youngsters.

The public sector workplace is no different. Federal IT professionals must consider the sheer volume and variety of devices connecting to their networks—from fitness wearables to laptops, tablets and smartphones. The Internet of Things and the cloud also significantly impact bandwidth and present security concerns, spurred by incidents such as the Office of Personnel Management breach of 2014.

September 1, 2016
By Jim Loerch
The aircraft carrier USS George Washington and ships from the U.S. Navy, the Indian navy and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force participate in trilateral naval field training. Carrier strike groups may be increasingly vulnerable to antiship missile systems and could be better protected with the use of an integrated electronic warfare capability.

Integrated electronic warfare is the best and most efficient form of defense against the growing antiship missile threat that targets deployed U.S. carrier strike groups. Some experts may even argue that an integrated electronic warfare system of systems is the only capability that can protect the U.S. fleet from this threat.

September 1, 2016
By Robert K. Ackerman

This is the last installment in a series of interviews with signaleers, one for each of SIGNAL Magazine’s seven decades, to commemorate AFCEA International’s 70th anniversary.

1946-1955

August 29, 2016
By George I. Seffers
Maj. Gen. Jennifer Napper, USA (Ret.), receives her second star. The retired general says she was glad to find the same can-do attitude in industry as in the Army.

The After Active Duty blog series examines the challenges, rewards and lessons learned for those who have transitioned from active duty to the private sector and the role AFCEA played in this progression.

Maj. Gen. Jennifer Napper, USA (Ret.), vice president, Defense and Intelligence Group, Unisys Federal Systems, says she respects people willing and able to accomplish the mission regardless of obstacles.

August 15, 2016
By George I. Seffers
Master Gunnery Sgt. Arthur Allen III, USMC (Ret.), ponders his next career move after transitioning from the U.S. Marine Corps following a decorated 31-year career.

The After Active Duty blog series examines the challenges, rewards and lessons learned for those who have transitioned from active duty to the private sector and the role AFCEA played in this progression.

Master Gunnery Sgt. Arthur Allen III, USMC (Ret.), left active duty this past summer after a 31-year career that included deployments to Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Iraq and Afghanistan. He does not yet know what his next professional position will be, but he knows his life after active duty will include volunteer work.

August 2, 2016
By George I. Seffers
Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, USA, commander, U.S. Army Europe, speaks to the attendees of TechNet Augusta via video teleconference.

AFCEA TechNet Augusta 2016
The SIGNAL Magazine Online Show Daily, Day 1

Quote of the Day:
“What we’ve observed them do is employ the full-range of information warfare capabilities to effectively find and fix their opponents. And then they finish them with long-range fires and combined arms maneuvers.” —Maj. Gen. Stephen Fogarty, commander, U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence

July 1, 2016
By Julianne Simpson

This is the fifth in a series of interviews with signaleers, one for each of SIGNAL Magazine's seven decades, to commemorate the 70th anniversary of AFCEA International.

1966-1975

May 1, 2016
By Julianne Simpson

This is the third in a series of interviews with signaleers, one for each of SIGNAL Magazine's seven decades, to commemorate the 70th anniversary of AFCEA International.

1986-1995

When David Baciocco began flying planes for the Navy aboard the USS Nimitz in 1987, satellite communications did not exist on aircraft. Instead he employed line of sight and high frequency, push-to-talk communications to complete missions.

April 1, 2016
By Julianne Simpson

This is the second in a series of interviews with signaleers, one for each of SIGNAL Magazine's seven decades, to commemorate the 70th anniversary of AFCEA International.

1996-2005

March 1, 2016
By Robert K. Ackerman

This is the first in a series of interviews with signaleers, one for each of SIGNAL Magazine's seven decades, to commemorate the 70th anniversary of AFCEA International.

August 4, 2016
By George I. Seffers
The U.S. Army's organic industrial base helps equip the force with a wide range of equiment, including Stryker vehicles.

The workload for the Army’s organic industrial base facilities—depots, arsenals and ammunition plants—is nearly the same as it was prior to conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan.

August 4, 2016
By George I. Seffers
Gen. Dennis Via, USA, commander, Army Materiel Command, discusses the worldwide threat and the need for cybersecurity at TechNet Augusta.

The Army Materiel Command (AMC) is modernizing and deploying pre-positioned stocks in Europe, Africa and Asia Pacific to ensure the service can rapidly and effectively respond to threats as they occur. Those so-called activity sets include the latest in communications and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) equipment.

August 2, 2016
The MUOS-4 satellite launched last year; the MUOS-5 satellite experienced a difficulty on its way to its geosynchronous orbit and has been delayed.

A new U.S. Navy communications satellite, which launched in late June, experienced a difficulty on its way to its geosynchronous orbit and has been delayed, a Navy official says. The fifth Mobile User Objective System (MUOS-5) satellite experienced a failure of the orbit raising propulsion system during a transfer maneuver five days after its June 24 launch, says Steven A. Davis, a spokesman with Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command.

August 1, 2016
By George I. Seffers
Then-Col. Kevin Nally, USMC, took command of the Marine Corps Communications-Electronics School, Twentynine Palms, California, in 2009. Retired Brig. Gen. Nally, who now serves as the chief information officer, U.S. Secret Service, stresses the importance of mentorship.

The After Active Duty blog series examines the challenges, rewards and lessons learned for those who have transitioned from active duty to the private sector and the role AFCEA played in this progression.

July 25, 2016
By George I. Seffers
Rear Adm. Carlos Rodolfo, PRT NA (Ret.) has spent years supporting students, in part through AFCEA, after being recognized for his own student accomplishments.

The After Active Duty blog series examines the challenges, rewards and lessons learned for those who have transitioned from active duty to the private sector and the role AFCEA played in this progression.

Rear Adm. Carlos Rodolfo, PRT NA (Ret.), was studying science and electrical engineering in 1974 at the U.S. Naval Post Graduate School when AFCEA recognized him for being the top student in his class. That moment sparked a lifelong commitment to AFCEA and its efforts to promote education.

July 1, 2016
By David Young
The key to improving government information technology may lie in adopting contractor-owned, contractor-operated, or COCO, systems.

When government agencies conduct business, they like to keep their cards close to the vest. Some describe agency dealings as vague, secretive or tight-lipped. This stealthy nature reflects the heavy load of sensitive information the government handles. However, agencies that are too inwardly focused can fall behind when it comes to innovation, efficiency, productivity, customer service and long-term planning. They can become stagnant—or worse, a liability. 

June 21, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
A high school student explains her team's hovercraft project to Rear Adm. Nancy Norton, USN, while Norton visits the Engineering and Aerospace Sciences Academy (EASA) in McMinnville, Oregon.

There is a noticeable distinction between women in STEM in the military and women in STEM in the civilian world, says Rear. Adm. Nancy Norton, USN, director of warfare integration and deputy director for Navy cybersecurity. For a while, jobs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics were just about all that were open to women seeking a career in the armed forces. Times have changed, and the U.S.

July 1, 2016
By Lt. Gen. Mike Basla, USAF (Ret.)

I suspect it is no surprise to the men and women who read SIGNAL Magazine that the U.S. Air Force is facing readiness and modernization challenges after 25 years of continuous combat. What you readers might not realize, however, is that our Air Force is actually smaller today than it was when it became a service in 1947. And, according to recent congressional testimony, it sits at about 50 percent readiness. Across the board, our service members proudly carry out their missions as the world’s premier fighting forces. But if we are asking them to execute the published National Security Strategy, we owe it to these patriots to provide proper resources. 

June 2, 2016
By Joel Dolisy

No one needs reliable connectivity more than the nation’s armed forces, especially during the heat of battle. But reliable connectivity often can be hampered by a hidden enemy: latency and bandwidth concerns.

The military heavily relies on voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) for calls, web conferencing, high-definition video sharing and other bandwidth-heavy applications. While this might sound more like the communication tool for a business boardroom, it is equally applicable within the military and compromised systems come with potentially life-altering consequences.

June 1, 2016
By Col. Patrick C. Dedham, USA
Col. Leon-Rodance Ndinga from the Republic of Congo comments during a tabletop exercise at AE 2015 in Botswana. AE is an annual 10-day communications seminar designed to increase interoperability between partner nations to support United Nations and African Union peacekeeping, disaster response and humanitarian assistance missions.

Fears of new terrorist attacks and growing violence in many African countries highlight a key tenet of U.S. Africa Command’s theater campaign strategy—to work with partner nations across the continent to improve readiness, interoperability and capabilities to support humanitarian assistance, disaster response and peacekeeping operations.

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