September 7, 2017
By George I. Seffers
Intelligence experts from around the world discuss countererrorism during the Intelligence and National Security Summit.

A panel of security and counterterrorism experts from four countries—Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States—shared insights into the ability of terrorist groups to use a variety of technologies, including the Internet, bomb-dropping unmanned vehicles, bioterrorism and artificial intelligence, to wield destruction around the world.

The experts shared their comments during a presentation at the 2017 Intelligence and National Security Summit in Washington, D.C.

March 27, 2017

The NATO Communications and Information Agency will preview details of 40 upcoming business opportunities at its annual industry conference NITEC17 to be held April 24-26 in Ottawa, Canada. Agency officials intend to put 40 contracts out to tender in the next 18 to 24 months as part of a €3 billion ($3.26 billion) technology refresh.

Various program officials will discuss tangible opportunities coming to market, including international competitive bids in the following areas:

February 9, 2017
Representatives from U.S. Strategic Command and the Belgium Federal Science Policy Office have signed a memorandum of understanding to share space situational awareness services and information.

U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) entered into an agreement with the Belgium Federal Science Policy Office (BELSPO) to share space situational awareness (SSA) services and information. The arrangement is expected to enhance awareness within the space domain and increase the safety of spaceflight operations.

Maj. Gen. Clinton E. Crosier, USAF, USSTRATCOM director of plans and policy, signed a memorandum of understanding formalizing the arrangement on February 7 at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska. Elke Sleurs, Belgium’s secretary of state for science policy, signed on January 31 in Brussels.

December 12, 2016

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker today announced that the Department of Commerce Digital Attaché Program will expand to six new markets: South Korea, Indonesia, Mexico, South Africa, Germany and France.

October 20, 2016
By Julianne Simpson
Thales has been selected to provide a number of advanced systems for the French navy's future frigates.

Thales is working alongside DCNS to provide a number of advanced systems for the French navy’s FTI (Frégate de Taille Intermédiaire), a medium-size frigate program recently announced by the French Defense Ministry. The FTI is intended as a replacement for the fleet’s Lafayette-class frigates beginning in 2023.

September 26, 2016
By George I. Seffers
Col. Dean Fox, USAF (Ret.), counts international relationship building as one of the highlights of his military 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.

Col. Dean Fox, USAF (Ret.), executive vice president for cybersecurity, AECOM, has done a lot of building of one sort or another throughout his active-duty career and afterward.

July 13, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
Adm. James G. Stavridis, USN (Ret.), dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and former supreme allied commander Europe, describes the global threat picture to attendees at West 2016 in San Diego in February.

Hillary Clinton is considering a SIGNAL Magazine Incoming columnist and current contributing editor as her running mate on the Democratic presidential ticket.

Adm. James G. Stavridis, USN (Ret.), has made Clinton’s short list as she considers candidates for vice president, according to several media organizations.

June 24, 2016
Maryann Lawlor

The biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise begins June 30 and will include 26 nations, 45 ships, five submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel. The theme of RIMPAC 2016 is "Capable, Adaptive, Partners." Participants will exercise a range of capabilities and demonstrate the inherent flexibility of maritime forces. The capabilities range from disaster relief and maritime security operations to sea control and complex warfighting.

June 14, 2016
General managers of the NATO Communications and Information (NCI) Agency and AFCEA Europe, Maj. Gen. Koen Gijsbers (Ret.), l, and Maj. Gen. Klaus-Peter Treche, DEUAF (Ret.), sign a renewed Strategic Cooperation Arrangement for another three years.

The NATO Communications and Information (NCI) Agency and AFCEA International this week signed a three-year Strategic Cooperation Arrangement that strengthens efforts to improve support for command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) needs and missions for NATO’s member nations. 

June 7, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
Ingvar Parnamae, undersecretary for defense investments for the Estonian Ministry of Defense shares some of the Baltic nation's defense challenges during NITEC 2016, running June 7-9 in Tallinn, Estonia. Photo by Marcos Fernandez Marin, NCI Agency

Small nation-state budgets aren’t always such a bad thing, offered Ingvar Parnamae, undersecretary for defense investments for the Estonian Ministry of Defense. 

It forces leaders to make good choices—it is hoped. 

February 4, 2016
By Katie Helwig

I had the pleasure of recently meeting Ellen Meinhart, an international trade manager for the Northern Virginia office of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP), who provided an overview of opportunities available to Virginia-based small businesses to expand their portfolios to include international trade.

December 3, 2015
By Sandra Jontz

Five years after the Canadian government launched an official national cybersecurity strategy to combat the rise of online attacks, the country’s national police force announced Wednesday it is creating an investigative team.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) released its cyber crime strategy to reduce the threat and impact of digital criminal attacks in Canada, according to a news release.

The measure follows concerns that the country lags the United States and Europe in efforts to safeguard government, businesses and critical infrastructure from the increase in cyber attacks against Canadian interests.

December 1, 2015
By Sandra Jontz
Tennessee’s adjutant general, Maj. Gen. Terry “Max” Haston of the Army National Guard, reviews a map of Bulgaria’s area of operation with Bulgarian Armed Forces cybersecurity officials at Tennessee’s Joint Force Headquarters in 2014. Bulgaria is investing in a national cyber defense system and collaborating with the U.S. government to mirror efforts such as optimizing public-private partnerships.

Significant financial investments to advance technology in Bulgaria could amount to wasted money if the nation’s political, military and industrial leaders fail to stem the outflow of young and educated citizens, warns a prominent official.
One of the biggest challenges facing Bulgaria is not a lack of technological development, but keeping the nation’s highly trained people, particularly its youths, in the country to serve its military, government and industrial base, says Stefan Vodenicharov, president of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. “There is a brain drain problem,” Vodenicharov declares.

November 1, 2015
By James C. Bussert
Satellite imagery of a land-based mock-up of China’s new 055 warship shows advanced radar on a bridge structure positioned for electromagnetic interference testing. The 055 is being designed to serve as a key escort for a People’s Liberation Army Navy aircraft carrier task force.

China is determined to project power globally by developing homegrown aircraft carriers. After purchasing a surplus Soviet-era aircraft carrier from Russia, China now is striving to establish an indigenous assembly line for carriers and the ships that would constitute a carrier task group.

July 1, 2015
By Mario de Lucia
The audience listens to a panel discussion at NITEC 2015.

Extensive cooperation among NATO member nations, their industries and their academics will be necessary to address the challenges facing the Atlantic alliance, according to speakers at NITEC 2015. Some examples of that cooperation emerged during the May 5-7 conference in Madrid, which had a theme of “Enabling C4ISR: Applications, Education and Training.”

August 1, 2015
By Robert K. Ackerman
Maj. Gen. Thomas Franz, GEAF, former commander of the NATO Communications and Information Systems Group (NCISG) (c), walks with other participants during Steadfast Cobalt 15. About 39 organizations from 25 nations contributed to the exercise.

A recent NATO exercise in Eastern Europe established criteria for NATO Response Force communications, including new technologies and cybersecurity, that will be essential if the rapid-reaction unit is called on in the event of a crisis imposed on an alliance member. The test of communications and information systems set the stage for an overall force exercise later this year, and it substantiated a broader concept of networking across NATO.

October 13, 2015
By George I. Seffers

This blog is a followup to an article in the October issue of SIGNAL Magazine, Operation Cooperation: U.S. Defense Officials Intend to Expand Asia-Pacific Partnerships.

Although tighter budgets motivate governments to cooperate on technology development, sequestration and the budget uncertainties in the United States have negatively impacted international partnerships, says Keith Webster, director of international cooperation, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics.

October 1, 2015
By George I. Seffers

The United States and Israel are partnering to develop technology to detect and destroy tunnels, which pose a serious threat to both countries, says Keith Webster, director of international cooperation, Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics.

“I’m personally spearheading an effort with Israel on accelerated research and technology solutions specific to tunnel detection and destruction,” Webster reports.

October 1, 2015
By Adm. James Stavridis, USN (Ret.)

Regardless of how the deal to restrict Iran’s nuclear capabilities unfolds, we need to be thinking aggressively about how to mitigate the effects of it.

Let’s review the bidding. The deal provides a weak verification regime; a limited 10- to 15-year shelf life; an immediate boatload of cash to the Iranians as sanctions are lifted without any real restrictions on their actions; and a deeply upsetting turn of events to our allies in the region. That’s the bad news.

September 28, 2015
By George I. Seffers

The U.S. State Department has unveiled a new initiative called “Global Connect,” which seeks to bring 1.5 billion people who lack Internet access online by 2020. Catherine Novelli, undersecretary for economic growth, energy and the environment, announced the initiative during a keynote address at the UN Headquarters on “Development in the Digital Age,” which was delivered on behalf of John Kerry, secretary of state.