Six decades ago, a group of technologists from government and industry established an association dedicated to maintaining “as a contribution to industrial preparedness the splendid liaison and cooperation that existed during the [second World] War.” Now, one Cold War and four hot wars later, the association that these visionaries founded has grown into an international organization that is as relevant and as important as ever.
Among the most pervasive changes of the past 60 years has been the cost of living. No costs or salaries could remain static during six decades of capitalism, as 1946 saw the beginning of the removal of wartime wage and price controls. Major economic growth ensued, aided and abetted by technology innovations that continue to transform society.
Six decades of research, technical advances play major roles in communications, restructuring, revamping.
In the history of the U.S. Defense Department, no date is perhaps more infamous than that of September 11, 2001. On that day, al-Qaida terrorists slammed a jetliner into the Pentagon—exactly 60 years after the day the Pentagon’s construction began.
Try to identify the source of the quotes below and the year in which each statement was made:
A) “The efficient and extensive communication system from
During the past two years, SIGNAL Magazine has asked military command and government agency chief information officers (CIOs) to share with its readers their insights on technologies that could have the biggest impact on their organizations in the future. This column has been a forum for them to communicate—in their own words—the paths they need capabilities to travel so they will be better able to achieve their objectives.
SIGNAL is without doubt the premier technical journal for C4I in the
The relevance defined by AFCEA’s founding fathers still holds.
Six decades ago a band of signalmen and combat photographers returned from the battlefields of World War II to form the Army Signal Association (ASA), adopting a goal to “perpetuate and strengthen the ties that were fashioned in battle” and to “maintain and improve cooperation between the armed forces and industry in the design, production, maintenance, and operation of communications, electronics, and photographic equipment.”
A look at how the experts saw the future 10 years ago.
The past 10 years have hosted an explosion of technology that has revolutionized productivity, shifted priorities and transformed communications from words to keystrokes. The cultures of play, work and even warfare have been redefined repeatedly—so much so that it is hard to remember a lifestyle before Google, the iPod, razor-thin cell phones, voice recognition and personal digital assistants. Ten years ago, most people still used paper maps to find directions and looked up telephone numbers in thick, cumbersome directories.
Conference highlights the need for people—not an increase in technology—to build more links.
Adm. Edmund P. Giambastiani Jr., USN, is the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Which emerging technology will have the biggest impact on your organization in the future?
Succeeding in the new strategic environment requires levels of responsiveness and agility never before demanded of our forces. The U.S. Defense Department must transform from its historical emphasis on ships, guns, tanks and planes to a focus on information, knowledge and actionable intelligence.
Center to deliver network operational picture.
Master Sgt. Pete Norris, USAF, a crew commander at the new Air Force Space Command’s (AFSPC’s) Major Command Communications Coordination Center (MCCC), reviews the command’s mission system network security posture on a heads-up display. The display facilitates tracking of mission system compliance with all security system updates.
Organization revamps military acquisitions, management processes—quickly.
A newly established government agency is helping the U.S. Defense Department transform the way it does business. The organization is charged with improving how the military tracks and valuates its many assets and how it purchases equipment. Reporting directly to Congress, the agency is mandated to meet tight deadlines and to maintain maximum transparency in its operations.
Modern communications equipment allows a small nation to interoperate, cooperate with larger allied powers.
The Slovak army’s mobile military communications system (MOKYS) will link warfighters across all echelons. Mobile command posts will use high-data-rate digital radios to connect small tactical units with national headquarters.
AFCEANs always have prided themselves on looking to the future, especially with regard to change and transformation. An association cannot flourish and remain successful for six decades without its members and leaders maintaining a visionary approach to operations and planning.
But it also is good to take a look in the rearview mirror every now and then. AFCEA turns 60 this year, and all of us connected with the association are exceptionally proud of what its members have done to bring government and industry together as a team. While that team might have formed anyway, with AFCEA merely serving as a catalyst, nonetheless being a catalyst is an important role and one in which we all should take pride.