TechNet Air 2016

May 1, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
Lt. Gen. James Holmes, USAF, deputy chief of staff for strategic plans and requirements for the Air Force, talks about the rise of Russian and Chinese military and technological advancements that threaten U.S. superiority in both air and cyberspace during AFCEA’s TechNet Air symposium in San Antonio.

In time, the capacity and capability of the U.S. Air Force’s cyber mission force will evolve to the point where the service might delay, disrupt and even destroy adversaries’ systems through non-kinetic means. But that day has not quite arrived, said Maj. Gen. Scott Vander Hamm, USAF, assistant deputy chief of staff for operations for the U.S. Air Force.

March 23, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
U.S. Air Force leaders discuss the defense of key terrain in cyber operations during a panel at AFCEA's inaugural TechNet Air 2016 symposium in San Antonio.

When it comes to the Air Force's cyber protection teams, or CPTs as they are better known, officials are at the stage now where they’re building the aircraft while flying it. 

It is all part of a growing effort to mature defensive cyberspace operations, and CPT members still are writing the playbook on how they define, map, prioritize and help defend key terrain. 

March 29, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
Pamela Whitley, deputy assistant administrator for the FAA's Next Generation Air Traffic Management System, or NextGen, discusses the program's progress during AFCEA's TechNet Air symposium in San Antonio.

It has taken about 15 years, but the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is greeting the 21st century.

The U.S. government pledged a commitment to build an efficient air traffic control system that allows for technological and procedural improvements, and provides a system as efficient as possible for travel, says Pamela Whitley, deputy assistant administrator for the agency’s Next Generation Air Traffic Management System, or NextGen.

March 24, 2016
By Katie Helwig
A panel discusses the government procurement process during AFCEA's TechNet Air symposium in San Antonio.

We had an enthusiastic panel who held no punches in sharing their thoughts on the state of government procurement during a panel at AFCEA International's TechNet Air symposium in San Antonio.

Governmentwide acquisition contracts (GWACs) provide government procurement officers with a streamlined procurement process that saves money and time. Network-Centric Solutions-2 (NETCENTS-2) motto is “Warfighter First, Taxpayer Always” according to Robert “Gerry” Smothers, the contract vehicle’s program manager.

March 24, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
Maj. Gen. Roger Teague, USAF, director of space programs in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Acquisition for the U.S. Air Force, discusses future programs at AFCEA's TechNet Air symposium.

Every military operation conducted around the world is enabled by space as well as cyber operations, domains closely linked and threatened alike. “As it is with cyber, and as the world is certainly witness to, our space domain is critically important,” said Maj. Gen. Roger Teague, USAF, director of space programs in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Acquisition for the U.S. Air Force.

March 22, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
Ryan Proscia (center in dark blue) and his wife Jennifer (l) receive keys to a new home in Florida donated by Military Warriors Support Foundation, Bank of America and sponsored by Diligent Consulting.

Ryan Proscia and his family now have a home. 

That wasn't always the case. The 28-year-old wounded Army corporal and his wife of seven years, Jennifer Proscia, used to rely on the generosity of family and friends for a roof over their heads—even if just temporarily. When their luck ran out, they said they just did not know what they were going to do.

Military Warriors Support Foundation ensured they wouldn't have to find out.

Through the organization's efforts Proscia, Jennifer and their two young daughters on Tuesday received keys to their very own home in Spring Hill, Florida.

March 23, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
Panelists discuss advancing security technology in the air domain at an afternoon session of TechNet Air 2016.

History repeats itself: And the next-generation airframe might come as a bit of a surprise.

Blimps.

“They’re back,” said Thomas Kupiec, chief information security officer for SMS, as he shared as an example of two prototypes NASA is working on, complete with bulletproof skin and the potential for unmanned flight in the future.

But what is greatly different today from the first blimps of the 1890s is the need for cybersecurity, Kupiec shared during an afternoon panel discussion at AFCEA International’s inaugural TechNet Air 2016 symposium in San Antonio, which runs March 22-24. 

March 22, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
Members of the Air Force's Task Force Cyber Secure talk about challenges to securing weapons systems during the TechNet Air symposium.

Cyber right now is the the cat’s meow—a notion sure to keep funding flowing for technological solutions, at least in the near term, to counter the emerging threats, according to Col. Gary Salmans, USAF, senior materiel leader of the Cryptologic and Cyber Systems Division within the Air Force Materiel Command.

March 23, 2016
By Katie Helwig
Robert “Gerry” Smothers, program manager, Network-Centric Solutions-2, speaks at TechNet Air in San Antonio.

Believe it or not, Robert “Gerry” Smothers, program manager for the Air Force's Network-Centric Solutions-2 (NETCENTS-2) program, offered his email to attendees at AFCEA International’s TechNet Air, being held March 22-24 in San Antonio, because “I want to know how well we are doing.”  

March 22, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
Maj. Gen. Jerry Harris, USAF, vice commander of Air Combat Command at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia speaks at the inaugural TechNet Air 2016 symposium in San Antonio.

While technology helped propel the U.S. military to outshine just about every adversary, failing to safeguard key developments just might lead to its downfall, warned Maj. Gen. Jerry Harris, USAF, vice commander of Air Combat Command at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia.

At the vertex of much of technological advances has been emergence of cyberspace across warfighting domains.

March 8, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
SBIRS High features a mix of four geosynchronous earth orbit (GEO) satellites, two highly elliptical earth orbit (HEO) payloads and associated ground hardware and software.

In its enduring space race to narrow the materializing gap between the United States and peer competitors, the Air Force’s fiscal year 2017 budget emphasizes sustaining mission capabilities and improving space resilience by investing in command and control programs, situational awareness technologies, expendable launch systems and satellite communications.

March 2, 2016
By Sandra Jontz

As the air superiority gap narrows between the U.S. military and its pursuing adversaries, airpower and information dominance will command center stage for discussions at this month’s TechNet Air 2016 symposium in Texas.

Air operations not only require accurate information and effective communications, coordination and security, but they must also be better than challengers campaigning to usurp the lead once commanded by the United States.

March 3, 2016
By Katie Helwig

My venture to San Antonio is fast approaching and the agenda for AFCEA International's TechNet Air 2016 gets stronger by the day. It's easy to be lured by the obvious draws: Deborah Lee James, secretary of the Air Force; Brig. Gen. Robert LaBrutta, USAF, commander 502nd Air Base Wing and Joint Base San Antonio; Maj. Gen.