Defense Operations

October 27, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

The future of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance is purple—or Pentagon parlance for the military services working together in a joint environment.

Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, USA, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, calls for improved development and the sharing of ISR data and technologies, not just among the U.S. military services, but also with industry and foreign militaries.

October 28, 2014
By Sandra Jontz
Northrop Grumman Corporation and DARPA are recognized by Guinness World Records for developing the world's fastest integrated circuit amplifier and reaching an operating speed of 1 terahertz. Pictured from l-r are Dale Burton, Arati Prabhakar, Philip Robertson, Dev Palmer and William Deal.

A five-year project funded by the Defense Department’s research arm and developed by Northrop Grumman Corporation has netted the world’s fastest integrated circuit amplifier and a place in the record books.

October 15, 2014
By Sandra Jontz
An unmanned boat from Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock operates autonomously during a demonstration of swarmboat technology being developed by the Office of Naval Research.

With its developing fleet of autonomous “guard dogs,” the U.S. Navy is becoming more lethal and protective using the same technology.

The sea service is capitalizing on a first-of-its-kind autonomous technology, with software originally developed by NASA for the Mars Rover, which can transform just about any surface vessel into an unmanned platform able to protect other ships or “swarm” hostile vessels, officials say.

October 14, 2014
By George I. Seffers

The U.S. Army’s Rapid Equipping Force (REF), which quickly fields technologies to meet urgent warfighter needs, intends by the end of November to open an office in Kuwait that will serve warfighters in the Middle East and Southwest Asia. Furthermore, officials are considering the possibility of opening an office in Iraq.

October 8, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

After much anticipation and preparation, the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), along with the U.S. Army and Air Force, successfully migrated network traffic through the first of several Joint Regional Security Stacks (JRSS) at Joint Base San Antonio, according to an agency press statement released Wednesday.

The JRSS upgrade is a step toward the realization of the colossal concept of connecting the entirety of the Defense Department’s network system under the Joint Information Environment (JIE).

November 1, 2014
By Rita Boland

The U.S. Navy’s technology plans are moving away from systems to focus on capabilities. Changes aim to ensure that the fleet has the functionality to be operationally ready at all times.

November 1, 2014
By Lt. Gen. Daniel P. Bolger, USA (Ret.)

"Never get involved in a land war in Asia.” So went the taunt in the 1987 film The Princess Bride, a comic adventure brimming with clever one-liners. Plunging into ground combat in Asia was considered “one of the classic blunders,” as a character describes it, so obvious that even children get the joke. Thus thought the gifted screenwriter William Goldman, who once had typed reports in the Pentagon as a U.S. Army corporal and went on to pen scripts for classic movies such as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and A Bridge Too Far. Yet what may have seemed obvious to Goldman and throngs of moviegoers apparently did not register above the corporal level in the U.S. high command.

November 1, 2014
By Lt. Gen. Robert M. Shea, USMC (Ret.)

The United States acknowledged a long-evolving trend when it initiated the strategic rebalance toward the Asia-Pacific region. For many years we have needed to place increased emphasis on that vast and dynamic area, and the rebalance has set a course for that important goal. But we are in danger of losing the benefits of the pivot to the Pacific in several ways.

November 1, 2014
By George I. Seffers
SPAWAR Systems Center Pacific personnel and sailors from Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit ONE retrieve an unmanned underwater vehicle deployed to detect mines and improvised explosives in shallow water environments.

As the U.S. Navy modernizes information systems across the fleet, one organization is responsible for researching, developing and fielding the full range of technologies in the Asia-Pacific region, providing complete life cycle development and support for systems, from concept to fielded capability.

November 1, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman
More than 40 ships and submarines representing 15 international partner nations sail in formation during this year’s Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise. For the first time, the People’s Republic of China joined 21 other nations participating in RIMPAC.

The U.S. strategic rebalance toward the Asia-Pacific region is being challenged by internal and external developments that are changing how the U.S. Pacific Command carries out its missions. Internal developments include budgetary pressures and local disputes. External developments include terrorism that could be migrating into the vast region.

November 1, 2014
By Sandra Jontz
The Defense Information Systems Agency command center at Fort Meade, Maryland, in 2013.

There are no do-overs when it comes to safeguarding the U.S. military’s sensitive data. With that key, concise and blunt notion in mind, defense leaders say they are taking a slow, methodical, multipronged approach as the Defense Information Systems Agency develops a cloud security model for the whole of the Defense Department.

With current security controls too strict and limiting, agency personnel are sleuthing for the ideal balance that would let a greater number of commercial cloud service providers compete for billions in federal funding, while still safeguarding national security. Their goal is to determine what might be safe—and what might be safe enough.

September 23, 2014
By Rita Boland

The U.S. Army officially activated its Cyber Protection Brigade earlier this month, marking the first time the service has had such a unit. It falls under the Army’s Network Enterprise Technology Command, commonly called NETCOM. As the defensive operations enabled by the brigade ramp up, the Army now also has a cyber branch operating provisionally, which will change the way soldiers are assigned to cyber career fields.

September 23, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

Having a single agency act as the cloud broker for the whole of the U.S. Defense Department's migration to commercial cloud services slowed the process too much, prompting a policy change to divvy up the duties among the services, says the department's acting chief information officer (CIO).

“The current status is [the Defense Information Systems Agency] DISA is still officially the cloud broker, because the memo is not out,” acting CIO Terry Halvorsen said Tuesday during a media roundtable discussion. “But we are going to make changes to DISA’s cloud broker role. The memo should be out by the end of October, maybe even a little sooner.

September 24, 2014
By Sandra Jontz
DARPA unveiled Wednesday its intention to launch the Hand Proprioception and Touch Interfaces (HAPTIX) program, which could give prosthetic limbs a sense of feeling.

The primary research branch of the U.S. Defense Department is developing technology to make advanced arm prosthetics even more lifelike for amputees—technology that experts hope will send signals to the brain to indicate what the limb is actually feeling.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) unveiled Wednesday information on its new Hand Proprioception and Touch Interfaces (HAPTIX) program, the first program for the nascent Biological Technologies Office, which opened in April. 

September 22, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman
Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (l), and Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD), ranking member of the committee, discuss intelligence oversight issues at the AFCEA/INSA Intelligence and National Security Summit 2014.

AFCEA/INSA Intelligence and National Security Summit 2014

The SIGNAL Magazine Online Show Daily

Day 2

Quote of the Day:

“The things we see today may be abominations, but they are not aberrations. They are the new normal.”—Brig. Gen. Michael Groen, USMC, director of intelligence, U.S. Marine Corps.

 

September 10, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

The U.S. Navy’s Next Generation Enterprise Network, or NGEN, is on schedule to complete its transition on October 1, according to Navy and contractor officials. While the transition has not been without unexpected challenges, it has been relatively seamless to the user, the officials note. The transition has reached 74 percent of its seats and more than 90 percent of its overall activity, they add.

As implemented, the NGEN program should be “flexible and agile” enough to address changing Navy missions and force structure, the officials offer. This agility includes the ability to modify the contract if necessary.

September 9, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

The U.S. Defense Department is primed to take a first step toward the realization of the colossal concept of connecting its entire network system under the Joint Information Environment (JIE).

For more than a year, the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), along with the Army, Air Force and defense contractor Lockheed Martin, has worked on the joint regional security stacks (JRSS), a key upgrade to streamline network operations and, officials say, improve security.

October 1, 2014
By Lt. Gen. Robert M. Shea, USMC (Ret.)

The U.S. military, which has been deployed to defend the nation’s interests for the past 13 years, is facing a new round of cuts, restructuring, refitting and new technology acquisitions. Tactical information technologies, in particular, are on the cusp of upgrades. But the approaches that have worked in the past no longer will work, and the failure to adapt to change could be devastating for the force.

October 1, 2014
By Lt. Gen. Daniel P. Bolger, USA (Ret.)

The late Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, better known by his nom de guerre, V.I. Lenin, used to be famous, or at least infamous. As the founding dictator of revolutionary Russia, Lenin built a grim, cruel and mighty police state whose oppressive successor to this day menaces all too many unhappy people in eastern Europe. The man the Communists once idolized as “our dear Ilyich” is long gone and, in decent circles, not missed very much.

October 1, 2014
By George I. Seffers

The U.S. government is adopting changes to the cloud computing certification program that will better protect against potential insider threats. The improvements include additional penetration testing, more thorough testing of mobile devices, tighter controls over systems being carried from a facility and more stringent scrutiny of systems connecting from outside the network.

Pages