Open standards are easy to love. With a common, defined computing system, anybody can port their applications to them and the software syncs beautifully, simplifying upgrades and providing flexibility in customers’ choice of supplier. One U.S. Army crack at open standards provides a good example of the expectation, which was to correct the problems created by the bolted-on approach of field equipment on vehicles. Unfortunately, like far too many of such standards, the Vehicular Integration for C4ISR/EW Interoperability, or VICTORY, falls flat on implementation.
The U.S. Army is well on its way to meeting federal goals for reducing or consolidating data centers, an effort that already has saved the service $56 million, officials state.
The Army has cut the number of centers across the force by about 38 percent, according to a report released February 6. Part of the consolidation plan calls for closing 1,157 Army Enterprise Data Centers. The goal over the next eight years is to bring the number to 10. Six will be located outside of the continental United States. The other four will be housed at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama; Fort Knox, Kentucky; Fort Carson, Colorado; and Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
The U.S. Army is rolling out a new cybersecurity career management program that could let qualified civilians bypass prerequisites and be commissioned directly into the service with a rank up to colonel.
The Defense Department has directed all military services to research the idea and submit findings by 2020 to determine if a pilot program should be implemented across the department. But Brig. Gen. Patricia Frost, USA, director of cyber for the Army’s G-3/5/7, explains that the Army decided to respond to the high demand for cyber experts more quickly. “We’ll see if the other services do something similar,” she states.
U.S. Army satellite ground stations are getting a much-needed total makeover—considering that several hail from the same era as the Vietnam War, the Kennedy presidency and the space race.
Their high-tech moniker—Satellite Earth Terminal Stations, or SETS—belies the actual nature of these facilities. The structures appear to more closely resemble corrugated steel warehouses for auto parts than suitable environments for cutting-edge satellite communications (SATCOM) equipment. During the 1960s, digital SATCOM was hardly a twinkle in the eye of technologists. SATCOM speed, volume and complexity would increase by many orders of magnitude over the next five decades.
A communications network management software solution deployed last year across the U.S. Army has proven to drastically reduce network downtime as soldiers operate in an increasingly complex command post environment.
Army and civilian communicators and network specialists, untrained on PacStar’s IQ-Core Software, configured and managed complex networking equipment up to 10 times faster than comparable manual methods and with nine times fewer errors, according to an independent research firm’s report released today.
The Army Cyber Center of Excellence is requesting research papers that address specific areas that answer learning demands or capability gaps that inhibit operational force effectiveness or efficiency. Among other things, the research papers will be used to evaluate emerging concepts against documented Army Signal, cyberspace and electronic warfare capability requirements.
Ideally, writers will have an interest in addressing signal, cyberspace and electromagnetic spectrum critical capability needs and may come from government solution providers, commercial vendors or academic institutions.
U.S. Army research on wearable technologies could lead to a future in which soldiers wear helmets with embedded thought sensors to communicate with one another and autonomous systems.
For now, scientists have developed a prototype architecture that will allow soldiers equipped with wearable technologies to communicate with each other and with robotic systems using hand gestures—even if team members are not within sight. The technologies will increase situational awareness, which ultimately improves mission effectiveness.
A new system being installed at U.S. Army posts enhances the ability of commanders in garrison to lead forces deployed potentially thousands of miles away. It provides seamless communication for remote mission command with no loss of a unit’s warfighting capability.
Army officials in July began installing the Home Station Mission Command Center (HSMCC). The first two units to receive the system are the 4th Infantry Division in Fort Carson, Colorado, and the 25th Infantry Division in Hawaii. This month, the service intends to begin installing the HSMCC for the 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley, Kansas, and the 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Stewart, Georgia.
As the U.S. Army brings even more advanced information technologies into the force, the service also strives to simplify training and use of these highly capable tools. Making increasingly complex systems simpler to operate now is a core function of the office tasked with designing, fielding and maintaining command, control and communications in the warfighting realm.
With cyberspace emerging as a critical warfare domain, U.S. military leaders have been forced to dump both old habits and doctrine in the name of network security. These arduous tasks are part of adapting to the new normal of the digital age, which can include contorting Army policies and actions to win modern wars and address global crises, says Essye Miller, the Army’s director of cybersecurity.
The primary fielding priorities for Gary P. Martin, U.S. Army PEO C3T, include the Warfighter Information Network–Tactical (WIN-T) Increment 2, which serves as the backbone network for the Army’s mobile network capability. It is being fielded first to active components, while Increment 1 still dominates Guard and Reserve forces. Only about 20 percent of active-duty forces have Increment 2, and its full fielding probably will take another 10 years, Martin says.
The U.S. Army aims to move sophisticated offensive and defensive cyber operations out of a headquarters environment to the front lines as it prepares its mission force to adapt to and prevail in the critical cyber warfighting domain.
Brig. Gen. Charles N. Pede, USA, has been assigned as assistant judge advocate general for military law and operations, U.S. Army, Washington, D.C.
U.S. Army and Marine Corps units soon may begin informally evaluating a product designed to provide lightweight, inexpensive and reliable voice interoperability at the lowest level. The cross-banding device could improve communications between newer and older radios among the U.S. military services, between the military and other government agencies and among U.S. and international forces, according to military and industry sources.
Adversaries increasingly are advancing sophisticated systems that render ineffective U.S. military radars, the one-time premier technology critical to many operations. In response, U.S. military researchers are stepping up their game and have found a new way to preserve radar performance in contested and congested environments.
It is called Advanced Pulse Compression Noise, or APCN, a secure waveform that can conceal its identity as noise, with the added bonus of allowing real-time programming to optimize battlefield performance.
While today’s U.S. Army tactical network provides commanders with voice and data capabilities to connect soldiers at the lowest echelon, it is pieced together with myriad mismatched systems that were not designed to work well together. The solution, born of necessity, increases the number and size of communication platforms for soldiers and introduces a great deal of complexity to how they interact with networks.
New technologies as well as user complaints are the basis for upgrades to the U.S. Army’s ground intelligence system. Already deployed across the force, the system is seeing improvements in the second release of its baseline, and the next increment will take upgrades to a new level to meet growing demands for diverse intelligence on the battlefield and at headquarters.
Brig. Gen. Flem B. Walker Jr., USA, has been assigned as director for logistics operations and readiness, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-4, U.S. Army, Washington, D.C.
Brig. Gen. Steven A. Shapiro, USA, has been assigned as assistant deputy chief of staff, G-4, U.S. Army, Washington, D.C.
Brig. Gen. Stuart W. Risch, USA, has been assigned as assistant judge advocate general for military law and operations, U.S. Army, Washington, D.C.